Rockstar may have used a known piracy group’s DRM crack for the Steam version of Max Payne 2.
In an embarrassing situation for Rockstar Games, the company appears to have uploaded a cracked version of Max Payne 2 for sale on download service Steam. Steam forum member Liamaj noticed a curious ASCII logo while looking at one of the game’s executable files.
Though the image might be hard to see, it’s the ASCII logo of piracy group Myth, which is known to have cracked many a game back in the day. Rockstar may have used Myth’s cracked version of Max Payne 2 out of laziness so that it wouldn’t have to recompile its own version without a CD check. Who knows, the logo may also have been added as some kind of inside joke.
It doesn’t appear to be a joke though, as forum posters later noticed that the Myth-cracked version is no longer being sold on Steam, but it clearly was earlier. The new version of Max Payne 2 uploaded to Steam is actually an “old” version, flipping from 18.104.22.168 back to version 22.214.171.124, without the Myth logo visible in the executable.
This situation raises some interesting questions. Why the hell would Rockstar sell a version of its game cracked by pirates? Is it really that hard to “crack” the game themselves? Also, is it unethical to pirate the work of a pirate?