Rockstar is selling cracked copies of games on Steam

Razor 1911 (RZR): A Closer Look at the Crack in Midnight Club 2 on Steam

Twitter user @__silent_ has made an intriguing discovery regarding Midnight Club 2 on Steam. It appears that the crack, developed shortly after the game’s launch, is included in the .exe file. This inclusion seems to bypass the CD requirements needed to play the game.

Image credit to @__silent_ on X, formerly known as Twitter

A closer look at the .exe file through a hex editor reveals the presence of “Razor 1911,” which is a well-known tagline used by warez groups to attribute their work. This can be seen as a type of digital signature.

Cybersecurity analysts express concerns surrounding this discovery:

“What concerns me here is that they either didn’t analyze the binary to understand exactly what is patched in the Razor 1911 copy, or they saw this and left it. I can’t imagine their engineers seeing it and deciding against slapping any different letters over the Razor 1911 just to cover it up.”

One theory suggests that since physical copies of the game are no longer available and Rockstar has been releasing older games on digital storefronts, they opted to repurpose the cracks previously released by the Warez group instead of investing resources in reconfiguring the .exe to function without a CD.

This isn’t the first time Rockstar has been suspected of such actions. The Steam version of Max Payne 2, for instance, included a version of the no-cd crack developed by Myth. This conclusion was reached by analyzing file sizes and Hex Code signatures.

A similar phenomenon has been observed with Manhunt, another game developed by Rockstar. Although the separate .exe file is no longer utilized to launch the game, it is still bundled with the Steam download.

In the case of Manhunt, one significant issue emerged when it was discovered that Rockstar unintentionally sold a cracked version of the game without disabling its anti-piracy measures. Consequently, when the game’s DRM was removed, these measures activated and caused a soft-lock, permanently sealing all doors and disabling interactable objects by default in the Steam version.