Steam versions of certain Rockstar games are actually cracked pirate copies, according to an investigation from fans.
Most video game companies don’t like it when people pirate their games. Especially the likes of Nintendo, which has a reputation for forcing emulators to be shut down and giving hackers huge fines they’ll never be able to pay.
Recently, however, Grand Theft Auto studio Rockstar Games has been called out for selling pirated, or cracked, copies of its games on Steam.
This isn’t the first time it has happened, but the controversy has resurfaced after it was discovered that the Steam version of racing game Midnight Club 2 was the pirated version, not the original.
Midnight Club 2 isn’t available on Steam anymore, having been delisted around 2018. Though there was an instance in 2021 where the game accidentally became temporarily available again for purchase.
However, Twitter user Silent, upon digging into the game’s files, discovered a signature for Razer 1911, a software piracy group. Essentially, Rockstar was charging customers for a pirated copy of the game.
Silent was motivated to check this after a video by YouTuber Vadim M exposed a similar problem with the Steam version of Manhunt.
As it turns out, Rockstar is selling a cracked version of this game too. What’s worse, though, is that Rockstar removed certain files which caused Manhunt to trigger all of its anti-piracy inconveniences at once, such as the game crashing if you pick up a health item.
So, if you buy Manhunt legitimately off Steam for £5.99, you’re essentially getting an unplayable mess, since the game thinks you’re a pirate who acquired your copy illegally.
This was first discovered back in 2010 and a number of negative Steam reviews mention the fact but it was never fixed. As a result fans have created their own patches to work around the issue, since Rockstar has done nothing to help.
Incredibly, this is not the first time something like this has happened, although ironcially the other famous culprit was… Nintendo.
A Eurogamer investigation uncovered evidence of the company repurposing a pirated version of the original Super Mario Bros. and then selling it on the Wii’s Virtual Console.
At the time, Nintendo denied the accusations, although it didn’t issue an explanation for why references in the game’s files matched other pirated copies of Super Mario Bros. and not the original game.
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Sign up to all the exclusive gaming content, latest releases before they’re seen on the site.