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Old 24 October 2014, 17:45   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London / UK
Posts: 396
Why did people crack games?

I know there are a few ex-crackers on here, it's all 20+ years ago now so I'm guessing spilling the details won't cause any legal issues. I did a quick search and couldn't find any posts along these lines.

So from a consumers point of view, I totally get it - free games! As a 12 year old when I got my first Amiga this was one of the main attractions, I'm not sure how software companies expected children to pay £20+ each for games. But why did the crackers themselves spend all that effort doing it, especially when at the time there was a risk of getting caught?

I know there was an 'ego' element to it, otherwise they wouldn't have put their names etc in the cracktros, but was that ALL there was to it? The market traders that were charging £1 per disk, they must have been getting the games from somewhere and making a profit on them, were they paying the cracking teams to crack games? Was there a financial reward for the first team to crack a new commercial game?

I'm sure the teams cracking games must have realised they were basically killing the games companies, and I can imagine for developers it must have been disheartening to spend all that time making a game only for it to be cracked. It's a bit like the music industry now - people don't make money from music any more because 99% of music in distribution is pirated, where as in the 80s/90s it was perhaps only 50% so there was still money to be made. The disk-based systems had the same dilemma in the 80s/early 90s - I bet 90% of software in circulation was pirated, a problem the consoles did not have until much later. So knowing this was the case, was there any incentive other than rebellion to crack games?

Interested to hear any first-hand experience, or even opinions. I'm in no way criticising your 'work', I benefited from it greatly as a kid But with hindsight, perhaps it wasn't so wise...
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