From the day the first computer and video games were published, people have been able to pirate them.
In the early days that involved copying cassettes and floppy disks and today most unauthorized copying takes place over the Internet.
Over the past decades, a subset of gaming fans have united in Scene groups to ensure a steady stream of cracked games, i.e those that have had their protections removed. Dozens of these groups have come and gone but few managed to rule their niche like CODEX.
CODEX Enters The Scene
CODEX was founded in 2014, which makes it a relatively young group. Over the years, however, it took the cracking scene by storm. The group was first to release many prominent game titles and cracked the repeatedly strongest protections, including Denuvo, in record time.
Most game publishers feared CODEX but some smaller developers also saw it as somewhat of a twisted honor when the group cracked their game. Warhorse Studios, the developer behind Kingdom Come: Deliverance, famously framed a massive replica of a CODEX NFO which is proudly on display at its office.
Since its inception, more than 7,000 CODEX-branded titles were released, which eventually found their way into the hands of millions of game pirates. However, this prolific stream of releases stopped yesterday.
In the release notes of “The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories,” CODEX officially announced its retirement. This decision is not the result of arrests or internal struggles. Instead, the group writes that it achieved its goal, while also being critical of the current state of the cracking scene.
CODEX writes that it initially started to compete with RELOADED, the dominant PC games cracking group at the time. However, this competition was only short-lived.
“It was a fun and sometimes dirty ride with lots of give and take on both sides. But sadly, it did not last very long and RLD started to crumble and slowly fell apart, making the scene less interesting,” CODEX writes.
While the RELOADED tag remained in use CODEX notes that that was done without permission of the real group. And this ‘new’ version didn’t offer much competition either.
“From the first day they started releasing in the PC section, they have worked hard to shamelessly destroy the reputation of a once iconic group tag when they really should have closed down years ago after all the spectacular fuckups they are responsible for,” CODEX writes.
According to the group it has become more and more common for new groups to resurrect and take over tags of old cracking groups. This helps them to quickly get attention, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that their quality is up to par.
This imposter-type behavior is reminiscent of the piracy landscape where brands such as YTS, EZTV, and ExtraTorrent were hijacked by people who have nothing to do with the original groups or sites.
CODEX writes that it no longer sees any serious competition to the quality and variety of releases it produces. They don’t limit themselves to Steam and Denuvo, but also cover Origin, Epic, Uplay, Bethesda.net, Battle.net and many other platforms.
This apparent lack of competition means that they are now the dominant player in the game cracking Scene, exactly as they envisioned eight years ago. As such, it is now time to retire.
“So now, years after reaching our initial goal, we feel that it is time to move on. We thank everyone who accompanied and supported us on our journey,” the group writes.
“Have a good time… Bye from CODEX!”