Oculus is backtracking. The Facebook owned company announced it would stop trying to block ReVive, a piece of software that allows Oculus games to run on Vive VR devices.
If you haven’t been following this story, let me give you a little recap.
ReVive is a software that allows for users to play Oculus Rift titles on their HTC Vive. Initially, players still had to own a game to be able to play these titles on their Vive headset, as the software only acted as a communication layer between the Rift and Vive code. After a bit of time however, Oculus added a check to make sure that players were actually using the Rift headset. Because of this, developers of the ReVive software were forced to update their application to bypass these checks, which opened up the possibility of running games without actually purchasing them.
It’s been a long battle for both sides, but Oculus have decided to officially remove the DRM check, which should let the ReVive team reinstate the code to allow for checking of game ownership.
Oculus had this to say about the decision, via RoadtoVR:
We continually revise our entitlement and anti-piracy systems, and in the June update we’ve removed the check for Rift hardware from the entitlement check. We won’t use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future.
We believe protecting developer content is critical to the long-term success of the VR industry, and we’ll continue taking steps in the future to ensure that VR developers can keep investing in ground-breaking new VR content.
While it is understandable that the company would want to protect the titles they had developed specifically for Rift, it is almost impossible to make anything exclusive in today’s day and age. The ReVive developers have been extremely hasty in circumventing Oculus’ changes, releasing the patch which bypassed the DRM checks only one day after Oculus changed their own software.
The creator of the ReVive software, LibreVR commented on the new development, saying he was proud of Oculus for stepping down.
I welcome this change of heart from Oculus and I hope it’s the first step in getting rid of hardware exclusive games altogether. I hope it will generate goodwill for Oculus, they deserve it for taking a more consumer-friendly approach.
I’m relieved that I don’t have to play a cat-and-mouse game with their DRM and can focus instead on adding support for more games. Without undermining the protections that ensure developers get compensated for their content.
LibreVR is actually a huge advocate for developer compensation, and says he only wanted to give more people access to some of the amazing titles being developed for the Rift. It seems this war may be over, but you never know what might happen in the future.
What are your opinions on Oculus’ change of heart? Are they making the right move?