Diablo III Cracked in China, and Digital Resales Are Legal in Europe

Interesting legal news about Diablo 3 from Europe and China, this week. The bigger news is from China, where Diablo III is technically illegal, as it’s still delayed by the usual Chinese government video game regulatory hell. Eager fans have been paying a fortune to get working copies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, etc, but now a more home-grown version is available, via hackers and piracy. To quote from the Kotaku article:

Currently, foreign games that enter the Chinese market need to be censored and “published” by a Chinese internet operator such as Tencent, Shanda or NetEase. NetEase is the operator for World of Warcraft in China.

The crack in question, released by the notorious game hacking group Skidrow is basically a server emulator for Diablo III. The server emulator would allow the game to think that it was “connected” to Blizzards server, thus allowing the player to play Diablo III offline. Currently the crack is still in its beta stage but a working torrent has been released.

There are no details available about how good the emulator is, but it doesn’t sound real advanced from the article. During the beta we saw a lot of D3 emulator efforts, which were very useful to give us previews of higher level skills and other things not in the beta. The problem with the emulator (aside from it being illegal) is that all the level generation, monster AI, item drops, and many other core game functions are run on the server, without any code to execute them on the client. Thus the emulator creators have to basically write their own code to enable anything more than characters standing in town and casting spells at Captain Rumford.

The best emu vids I saw during the beta had one or two types of zombies moving and attacking, but it was nothing like playing the actual game. Perhaps progress has been realized in that field, though? Or maybe the Chinese fans are so bored and desperate that a 1/100th working game is better than no game at all.

Update: From comments knowledgeable people say the emulator is the same Mooege one we saw in the Beta test, that it’s still just a sandbox with nothing approaching game functions, and that Skidrow had nothing to do with creating it. So the original Kotaku article seems pretty misinformed about everything, and the only news is that the Beta emulator is being widely distributed now in China.

The other news is from a European court, which ruled for the consumer and decreed that players MAY resell their digital copies of games, even though game publishers all fill their EULA and TOS with legalese saying that you can not do so.

“Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy – tangible or intangible – and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a license agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that right-holder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the license prohibits a further transfer, the right-holder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.”

This is good news for consumers, and potentially great news for gaming retailers who would love to be able to continue acting as parasitic middlemen who give you $10 for your used game, then resell it for $45. If they can do that with digital games, all the better. No store space needed at all!

The article mentions Diablo III, but that’s irrelevant, since everyone loves the game so much no one would be willing to resell their copy. Not for any price!

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Hacks, Diablo 3 Sales, Legal


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  1. Waiting on working crack.

    • There is no such thing as a “crack” for an online game, but by all means, continue waiting.

      I have a seat in the corner and a conical hat if you’d like.

      • You just now discover internet?

        • your comment shows vice versa, tbh.
          you know that there is no reason to crack an online only game, right?
          what you do instead is providing a working substitute server for your client.
          thus, no cracking needed. or if at all, very little.

          i was really happy to see the news about D3 finally getting a working server substitute… but alas, i then read the edit…
          but here is to hoping that a wider audience using mooege will increase its development speed and quality.

    • Waiting for working mod filling the gap still left from D2.

  2. I usually like Skidrow products, they’ve enabled to me to play Skyrim before I bought it. Good thing I never bought Skyrim, just wasn’t the game for me. I’m completely disgusted with Jay Wilson and Blizzard in general to even care anymore, all of their shit got hacked already anyway. The chat rooms in Diablo 3 are a mess, the items are a mess, the auction houses, and the game itself is generally not that much fun at all to play.

    • combat is a lot of fun even if the rest of the game is a mess. Treasure goblins are “super-awesome” and so is the art( though some of the design philosophies like taking out pentagrams and other choices are pretty awful ). Yes the game is a mess and its all because of accessibility. So little time was devoted to making sure endgame was actually good and it was all spent on making sure someones grandma could play d3.

  3. So Diablo 3’s online only DRM did nothing but hose over honest players. Imagine that. It did not prevent piracy, hacking, botting, or duping. And it created a lot of bad vibes towards Blizzard.

    • Nah. It hosed over the pirates, and I applaud Blizzard for the decision.
      It is regretful that legitimate SP players suffered from this decision, but such is life.

      • in response to your comment – all i can say is WOW.

        and its nothing new to see you and grumpy express very polarized opinions about blizzard.
        i usually share neither both of your – at times – rather extreme opinions, but i am with GOW here.

        • You can try to pigeonhole them all you want, intry, but the sad truth is that Grumpy is right. I literally laughed out loud the first time I checked out the public chat “rooms”. Can’t even hold a conversation, just gold-farming bots spamming away…

    • GOW is wrong again in one of his hate-filled comments. Imagine that.

      If you don’t have something nice to say and all that…

      • What has Gears Of War got to do with D3?

      • Nothing I said reflected hate. Please don’t lie about me. I merely made an observation that hacks, bots, dupes, and piracy exist.

        YOU however, made a personal attack on me.

        • Be glad you can express your opinion here after all. I don’t know you in person, but here is a friend in this limited Internet way. Don’t mind Nizaris, he/she seems okay, maybe they just don’t like to listen bad things about the game.

          You can have a lending hand. If we had to leave the site I hope they at least tell us before we pack our bags.

      • I don’t think it is necessarily hate Nizaris. He is just expressing the opinion of many many people.

        Eternal love filled comments I read in the forums aren’t perfect either.

        There are guys in the forum who think they are better people as a person just because they are positive about the game, while the others are the haters and the *bad people*. Yeah, right.

        Sometimes expressing your concerns is not being bad.

    • I disagree, it did make a difference, and a big one at that. Usually games are cracked before they are even released, or a few hours after. With Diablo 3 we only now have a mostly working server emulator. That’s almost 2 months after the release.
      I have a feeling that by “making a difference” you mean “full 100% stop” of bots/hacks etc. This is not the same thing. Arguing that it didn’t make a difference is sketchy at best. It did. How much of a difference did it make is debatable, but unless you know something we dont, then it’s hard to make judgement based on facts and evidence.

  4. The emulator in question wasn’t made by Skidrow. It’s the same emulator from the beta, and it’s still incredibly broken.

    • Oh mooege. I haven’t followed that for some time. Thanks for the correction.

      • It’s gotten better but it still isn’t a “game”. It’s just a silly sandbox.

        And I forgot, as far as reselling digital games goes, I think Blizzard did good by new players by allowing a free trial, at least.
        I don’t think I agree with re-selling digital games, but we should certainly be able to get a refund.

        • That’s what I was wondering, from the “still in beta testing” mention, but the original article was quite uninformative on the issue. And as you say, the beta emulator was just a sandbox, without any real interaction possible with the game world, other than exploring maps and generating motionless monsters, etc.

          • Mhm. Last I tried it, there were working monster spawns but they’d just blindly walk towards you and had a hit radius even larger than in the game. Most skills worked visually, but not in actual combat, no real items, no quests, no vendors, stash worked. That was pretty much it.

  5. I live and work in China, my aircon is broken at 3:30am and its hot like inferno (see what i did there? ^_^ ), so I can’t sleep.

    I went online on IM to contact a few Chinese friends upon these news, and managed to find one who apparently has his hands on a server emu.

    Even according to the local friend it is utter crap and nowhere near anything that you get while playing on bnet.

    However, maybe some day people will tweak an emulator good enough to run an “acceptable experience”, all the QQ-boys leave bnet to play on the “drops tweaked for guaranteed uber leetness” servers, and the game can actually start to evolve and get patched with decent player input instead of all the useless whining and negative crap.

    Then again, that’s just wishful thinking…

  6. Meh, they’re not missing too much.

  7. I think the EU court ruling is a bigger deal for the next-gen consoles. Every rumor has it that the next XBox and Playstation will have various ways of completely shutting out resales and rentals (no removable media, mandatory online codes.) For D3, it doesn’t matter, b/c you could try and resell the client software, but Blizzard doesn’t have to sell anybody the server software. Expect more companies to try (and fail) the client/server split for their code.

    • An honest question, here, not sure if you’d be able to answer, but… If developers did prevent resales with things like you’ve suggested (codes etc), wouldn’t that actually be illegal? If, in the EU, by law games (digital or otherwise) must be able to be resold bu the developers or publishers prevented you from actually doing so..?

      • Well according to the law (that ruling) your are allowed to resell digital copies, therefore it a legal right and as such Europeans have to be able to do this. No matter what the game companies try to do they cant really do anything to stop resells unless they find a loop hole or get it amended.

    • It does matter. A lot. Blizzard sells you not only the graphical content, but also the right to use their servers (license) to play the game. I am glad the European court ruled this. The non-distribution of online bought items ain’t a good thing. Games are dirt cheap, but this also means you can resale your online bought copy of Adobe CS7, Office 2014, Windows 9, your entire book collection, your itunes music, digital film collection, etc. My itunes collection is worth hundreds of euros by now, and even if games loose their value, music doesn’t.

      Worse case, say you get a lethal accident, you can leave all your digital assets to your family.

      I think I will leave my copy of D3 to the Schaefer brothers, so they can be continuously reminded how not to fail at making a great sequel to the best game ever made.

  8. I just hope someone makes a working emulator and the call Brother Laz to make DIII the best game ever trough MOOOOODDDDSSSS!!!!!

  9. DRM never, ever works. It’s a simple fact that has always proven true. DRM only hurts your legitimate customers, not those who want to steal your product. Blizzard has only driven away people with their DRM and corporate behaviour. They are not the Blizzard I knew and loved. They are Activision-Blizzard now, a much different company.

  10. Well, the emulator bit is a shame; I was really hoping to leave Blizzard behind.

  11. Thats why you should never use a source like bukaku. It’s a thrash site.

    More CAKE nyone?

  12. Yes, I also want to leave Blizzard and their user unfriendly politics. No equality, just domination on their part. Then there is their annoying maintenances and so on.

    Single player is a big deal for me, and they disabled it. I don’t mind if they get rich with their AH, but I won’t be playing Diablo 3 until a SP version comes out.

    I feel SO dependent when playing D3… There are at least 4-5 external factors I depend on: Battlenet, my ISP, router, electricity -batteries work wonders in laptops-, and the weather in the rainy region where I live.

    GRUMPY OLD WIZARD, your theories are some of the most sane I’ve ever read in these forums. You seem to be a fascinating person. I can only say THANKS.

    • “annoying maintenances”

      Jeez….how about getting a job, or going to bed, or going outside, or doing something else beside playing D3 24 hours a day.

      It’s not as bad as you make it, unless, you do what I described.

      • I just played a character, left the game at level 23, in the very beginning of 3rd Act Normal, out of boredom. This was more than a month ago.

        In those first days I got enough maintenance messages for a lifetime.

        But I agree with you in some things. Hey, life happens. Be prepared.

        • No first time player would have downed Belial at level 22. Just sayin. Most meet the guy at lvl 24.

          In the last 5 weeks all downtime came from the weekly maintenance schedule which happens at night … once a week for a handful of hours.

          No Sir, no hard feelings but you don!t have the game.

          It is the problem of todays internet. People discuss things on hear say.

          • For someone who dismisses a claim based on hearsay, you seem to be quick to judge on presumptions. “No first time player would have downed Belial at level 22. Just sayin. Most meet the guy at lvl 24.” Really? Got any more pearls of wisdom?

          • I have the game since day one. I could give you my account name if you wanted to. You could see my Monk there. I didn’t complete Diablo 3 but I played it like 20 hours before getting bored.

            I missed most of the game I know. But I am not in a hurry. Maybe someday I will come back, maybe not.

            But if I ever play Diablo 3 again I will make sure I will play the best ever version of it.

            The game still needs a lot of polish, and my patience is endless, so I lose nothing not playing it now.

          • aaaa…. dude I shot that Mothafuker down at level 19, probably because I wasn’t taking all the in depth gameplay and was just running around and shooting anything that got in my “way”. True story.

            You really need to lighten up, and to suggest that we meet B at specifically at level 24, well I must say who is hearing and saying now?

  13. How do you resell a digital game that is permanently registered to your bnet account> o_O Do you like sell your bnet account (assuming you only have 1 game on it) or something?

    • Legally speaking, after the EU court ruling, people should have a way to do so. If an editor prevents it, well, now he must change that … said otherwise, Blizzard should now give a way to players to unregister a game from their bnet account and so reactivate the cdkey so that the game can be resold.

      BTW, this seems a more important issue than “mf gear swapping” or “jars’ runs”.

    • It’s simply – they need to make ability to detach your serial key from bnet account.

  14. So the on line only mode WORKED.

    2 months after the game was released and not a SINGLE cracked copy worked decently.

    Like the Chinese guy above said: the cracked copy is not working.

    And for the rest of the usual guys over here: most didnt even play the retail game of D3 AT ALL. How should I be surprised even 🙂

    Hate a game all you want, if that’s your ultimate goal in life you have serious issues.

    LOVING the Inferno gem crafting and Hardcore modes in Diablo3 more than ever.

    You see I don’t need cracked copies or second hand sales. I play D3 and have fun NOW


  15. Well the EU ruling is good news for me means I can transfer my digital collects at some stage legally instead of having it go into a no man-zone.

  16. Some research please. Skidrow haven’t done anything.

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