Cracked Version of Max Payne 2 Distributed on Steam?
By Matt Peckham
Oh irony, you giveth and rarely taketh away.
Who says piracy doesn’t pay, or in this case, repay the prey?
It seems Rockstar, the folks responsible for the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead games, may have gotten a little lazy compiling the Steam release of Max Payne 2. That’s if you buy the legitimacy of this screenshot posted to a Steam message board thread titled “Now that was a bit lazy of you rockstar.”
The screenshot purports to contain the ASCII logo of former pirate group Myth. Pirate releases often include a text file with information about the rip, including a group logo constructed using ASCII symbols. Scan the picture above and you can almost make out the letter M-Y-T-H between the rest of the garbled text translation.
That text reportedly appears in the maxpayne2.exe file, implying that whoever compiled the Steam version of the game used Myth’s crack (which ostensibly removes the CD check) to allow the game to run without reference to optical media.
The screenshot raises several questions, like: Is the screen grab for real, or just a fabrication aimed at disparaging Rockstar? If real, is it just the executable that’s been tampered with, or the entire codebase? At what level in the company was use of contraband code authorized? Was this just a lazy low-level coder, or someone higher up? Is Max Payne 2 the only game that’s been tinkered with, or are there others? Does running pirate-fiddled code introduce risk of damage to a user’s computer, since technically speaking the code may contain (or be missing) other elements?
Moreover, would you pay money for a game you knew had been tinkered with by pirates?