Something interesting has come about within the PC gaming community. A few days ago, a video game cracker by the name of Empress claimed to have cracked the PC version of Resident Evil Village, a title that has apparently been having issues on the PC platform. Empress states that by removing the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software, the game suddenly has a boost in frame rates and much less screen tearing. Intrigued by this, Digital Foundry decided to test this out themselves, essentially comparing the obtainable version against the pirated version. After some testing, Digital Foundry has revealed that this is in fact true, the cracked PC version of Resident Evil Village runs better than the retail version that Capcom made available.
Not a good look: Digital Foundry has tested Resident Evil Village on PC with a crack that – according to its authors – removes the DRM from the game
— Nibel (@Nibellion) July 14, 2021
Digital Foundry made a fairly extensive video to showcase this, and after viewing it a few times, it’s pretty clear that the cracked version does run better. According to Digital Foundry, the two versions execute normally, as in they start up without any issue. The real difference comes when specific moments occur on screen, especially with more items, characters, and enemies. In the retail version, the frames begin to stutter, and as we already mentioned, the more on screen, the bigger the screen tear. As for the cracked version, this issue almost doesn’t exist. While removing the DRM software doesn’t completely fix this, it allows the game to run at a much more reasonable frame rate.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that DRM related software has been claimed to be at fault for bad performance on a PC title. It’s been an ongoing problem for a very long time, and it’s also something that most of the PC gaming community is very much against. Almost all video game companies and publishers use DRM software in their PC titles as to protect their IP from being pirated and essentially given away across the internet. Time and time again, crackers and hackers would find ways around this and share the game via upload links to a plethora of different web sites, the most famous being Pirate Bay.
Consequentially, there have been several instances when companies have actually removed the DRM software themselves, usually through patches and updates. Some examples of this include Hitman 2, Metro Exodus, and Devil May Cry 5. Perhaps the most infamous moment is when id Software implemented a DRM related software into Doom Eternal. It was an anti-cheat Denuvo, one that sat right at the center of the operating system and resulted in a plethora of review bombs on the game’s Steam page. The studio realized the situation and decided to remove it from the title less than a week later.
The fact that the DRM software within the retail version of Resident Evil Village has exposed this flaw doesn’t help Capcom’s situation with the PC iteration. Thankfully, it appears that the company is aware of this as PC Gamer reported that they are “currently looking into the reported PC performance issues.” This could lead to Capcom removing the DRM software completely, freeing up all of those desired frames for the PC players. Hopefully we’ll find out sooner than later on what the company decides to do.