V-arrrrrr: Oculus suffer another setback in battle against pirates | PCGamesN

V-arrrrrr: Oculus suffer another setback in battle against pirates

Eve: Valkyrie

Virtual reality is about hopping into the body of anyone you like: soldier, climber, eagle, pirate. But some Rift users have been less about sailing the high seas than hacking Oculus software to work with other headsets - and measures designed to stop the practice have only made things worse.

All goggled up and nowhere to go? These are the best VR games.

Last week, Palmer Luckey and co. released an Oculus patch which added an security extra step for launching games, asking players to have a Rift headset already connected. It sounds like an effective counter to Revive: the popular mod (or “hack”, in Oculus’ terminology) which users have exploited to play Rift-exclusive games with other hardware.

As Oculus closed that crack, however, Revive modder Libre VR opened up a fissure. The new version of Revive bypasses the Rift ownership check completely, leaving the software unable to check for not only a headset but also a legitimately-purchased copy of a game. Libre says he doesn’t want users to pirate the games they play, but the fact is that it’s now possible - at least until the next update from Oculus.

The hardware check has caused upset in the Oculus community - unsurprisingly, since just this year Luckey was still telling Redditors they could run Oculus-bought games on whatever they wanted.

“As I have said a million times (and counter to the current circlejerk), our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware,” the fresh-faced inventor said in January.

Does platform-exclusivity bother you?

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Shriven avatarAnAuldWolf avatarQDP2 avatarMr. Fibble avatarAever avatar
Shriven Avatar
1 Year ago

I'd argue that the Oculus Rift is no longer a PC and is in fact a walled console. Therefore, not worthy of coverage on the glorious PCGN website!

QDP2 Avatar
1 Year ago

I'm fine with platform exclusivity existing, but flat out lying to your customers, telling them that they hold no care about hardware used, stating that they want to work to make VR a more open and better community and hopefully make it commonplace around the gamers home. These are all things that require them to remove the exclusivity on there storefront. They seem to want to take shots at the Vive, whilst ignoring that if Valve shot as low as them and set limiting features to remove support of the Rift to Steam games, that would be Oculus done for :P Sure Valve would have to do something along the lines of offer refunds of the games bought by Rift owners on steam, but that would be a minor cut in profits in comparison to the monopolization of the VR market (because lets be honest, they already outsell the Rift, other competitors most likely take less than 20% of the market. Only headset that may compete in sales is the PSVR, but they're not direct competitors, being different platforms.

I just realised how much of a rant this has become, but I hope anyone who bothers to read this gets my point. Underdog Oculus is clawing away at the alpha male Valve, which is currently resisting any retaliation. Who knows for how long though, till VR becomes a closed platform.

Mr. Fibble Avatar
1 Year ago

I'm not pro piracy but have to say that if this update to revive hurts the pockets of the money grabbers at facebook then I'll shed no tears.

I might download cracks to bypass drm on games I've bought (which is what revive was kind of doing) but I won't buy games off the riftstore to use with revive. Buying games from them gives legitimacy to their drm choice.

Platform exclusives are one thing when it's PC/PS4/Xbone but rift and vive are peripherals for the PC.

Will be interesting to get feedback from 3rd party devs who are locked into that store to see how they feel about how their games are being treated. I can't believe facebook money will be that good that they would be happy about lost sales.

As mentioned below if valve were to enter the fray their potential warchest is much larger than the occulus camps. Although what they could do is simply say to new VR games that they have to cover both headsets in order to get a certain level of promotion in the store. They could also make rift only games harder to find. Steams store has more options to be sneaky and mildly underhanded about things than slapping a blanket hardware drm on stuff.

Aever Avatar
1 Year ago

Yes, damn right it does. I don't like being forced into buying all the platforms to be able to play the games I want to. Just use timed exclusives, it's a decent tradeoff,

AnAuldWolf Avatar
1 Year ago

I know why platform exclusivity exists -- capitalism -- but I'm not a fan.

The thing is is that it's good for everyone except for certain kinds of hardware manufacturers for there to be no exclusivity. It's something that Gabe Newell has been behind forever, and it's a sentiment backed by the push to move away from DirectX12 (which would create Windows 10 exclusivity) to Vulkan.

Really, I think it's just certain hardware manufacturers being greedy. And the thing is? It works for them. If you look at the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, you can see why. It creates a very tribal gulf between the two systems that helps ensure loyalty to one system or another. So rather than providing the better hardware/service, they can rely more on marketing and hype to condition people into being tribal about stuff.

And human beings are incredibly easy to condition, it's scary. No, I don't mean hypnotise or mind control, I mean condition. If you introduce a human to enough of the same kind of stimulus, they'll quickly start following along. We've actually programmed ourselves as a species to be like this, to be 'social' and to 'fit in' we brainwash ourselves to be into whatever a particular tribal clique might be into.

There's no actual hypnosis other than self-hypnosis, and conditioning works on the same level. It's been used by marketers forever now.

And that's the problem. When you have such an easy loophole in human nature to exploit, why not? Especially if you happen to be a cut-throat, sociopathic management or marketing type. Marketing for the past... oh, I don't know how many decades? It's been all about tap-dancing on the very edge of your will.

And the less aware you are of it, the better it works. And this can lead some people to be exploitative and to use these flaws to turn people into zombies who want nothing more than to be consumer drones for that company. Blizzard is AMAZING at this, they have been ever since World of Warcraft. As I've pointed out, job listings at Blizzard regularly contain clauses about how you'll have a better chance of getting the job if you have psych experience.

Also check out the 'Freemium Isn't Free' episode of South Park.

So, yes, ultimately this exclusivity nonsense benefits only certain parties who'd benefit from it. Usually hardware manufacturers, but sometimes OS developers like Microsoft and their DirectX 12. I think that slowly though people might be waking up to this kind of exploitation, so it's working much less successfully than it used to.

Footnote: Here's a lovely example of why marketing terrifies me!


This kind of thing is everywhere. If a company can slowly condition you into being a hyper-loyal brand zombie who'd debate as underhandedly as possible and with the vigour of a pastor to convert people to their cause? All the better for them.

Exclusivity is just one of those zombifying tricks, which leaves all these zombies screeching 'PS4' and 'Xbox' at one another.