Rockstar GTA logo

Rockstar just proved how important piracy is for game preservation

We’ve all seen developers and publishers criticizing PC gamers for pirating their games. We’ve also seen a lot of publishers doing their best to fight piracy by implementing draconian DRM protection systems in their games. But can you imagine a company downloading and then selling a pirated/cracked game? Because that’s exactly what Rockstar did.

Discovered by modder ‘Silent’, the Steam version of Midnight Club 2 is actually the version that the scene group “Razor 1911” cracked back in 2003. Let me repeat that. Rockstar was selling on Steam a cracked copy of its game.

As you can clearly see from the HEX Editor that Silent has used, the Steam version of Midnight Club 2 features Razor 1911’s signature. So, instead of releasing the original version of Midnight Club 2, Rockstar went ahead and downloaded a cracked version in order to sell it. And that’s hilarious.

What’s also funnier here is that Rockstar may have done this because it could not be bothered removing the DRM that the original game had. So, I guess it’s easier to simply download a cracked version and distribute it on Steam.

Ironically, this isn’t the first time Rockstar was caught selling cracked games on Steam. Rockstar had previously done the exact same thing with Manhunt and Max Payne 2.

This right here shows why piracy is so important for game preservation. It also shows how hypocritical a lot (not all) of the big gaming companies are. Rockstar was definitely not happy with all the no-DVD/no-CD cracks back in the 90s and 00s. Hell, its parent company is even against mods.

Take-Two has shut down A LOT of mods. Some of them are this AI-powered story mode for GTA 5, Grand Theft Auto IV Definitive Edition Mod, GTA Underground and Red Dead Redemption Damned Enhancement. The publisher also attempted to shut down the reverse-engineered GTA3 & GTA Vice City projects, the VR Mods for Red Dead Redemption 2, GTA 5 & Mafia, FiveM, and the Hot Coffee mod for Red Dead Redemption 2. And yet here we are with Rockstar selling a cracked version of its games. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Midnight Club 2 PC Trailer

Lastly, Midnight Club 2 is no longer available for purchase on Steam as Rockstar delisted it back in 2021. So, technically, the company is no longer selling this cracked version of MC2 on Steam. Still, can you blame PC gamers for pirating this game when Rockstar had the nerve to sell its cracked version? But then again, this is the same company that polished the mobile versions of GTA Trilogy, and then called them the “Definitive Editions“.