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Oculus puts the kibosh on 'hack' that let Vive owners play Rift games

Oculus puts the kibosh on 'hack' that let Vive owners play Rift games

May 20, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

Oculus VR updated its Oculus app this week, and among the laundry list of changes are new "platform integrity checks" that appear to block games in the Oculus Home hub from launching if a Rift is not connected to the PC.

That's important because it breaks Revive, an unofficial plug-in that gained acclaim earlier this year for its ability to allow HTC Vive owners to play select Oculus-exclusive games (like Lucky's Tale, pictured) by bypassing Oculus' code signing checks.

Such a bypass could potentially violate Oculus' Terms of Service, and when Revive rose to prominence Oculus representatives spoke out publicly against its use.

"This is a hack, and we don't condone it," read the statement Oculus provided to the press. "Users should expect that hacked games won't work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software."

Speaking to Motherboard, the developer of Revive noted that the new security measures introduced in this week's Oculus app update have successfully stymied efforts to run Oculus games on non-Oculus hardware.

"While this helps prevent piracy from people who didn't buy an Oculus Rift, it doesn't do anything to prevent piracy from those who did buy an Oculus Rift,” the developer told Motherboard. “And this clearly excludes anyone who bought the game, but didn't buy an Oculus Rift. Even if Revive wasn't targeted, they were probably more than aware of the collateral damage."

Those comments about Oculus preventing people who own games like Lucky's Tale from running them on non-Oculus hardware are especially notable in light of comments published by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey on Reddit late last year.

"If customers buy a game from us, I don't care if they mod it to run on whatever they want," wrote Luckey. "The software we create through Oculus Studios (using a mix of internal and external developers) are exclusive to the Oculus platform, not the Rift itself."

Update: Oculus representatives provided the following statement on the subject to Gamasutra:

"Our latest software update included several new features, bug fixes and security upgrades, including an update to our entitlement check that we added to curb piracy and protect games and apps that developers have worked so hard to make.

This update wasn’t targeted at a specific hack. 

When we first learned about hacks that modify our software to interfere with the security, functionality and integrity of the Oculus ecosystem, and allow games to run outside the scope of our QA, testing and support, we immediately notified the community that we will not be supporting or maintaining the long term usability or quality of hacked software.

We take the security, functionality and integrity of our system software very seriously and people should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely as regular updates to content, apps and our platform may break the hacks."

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