If you’ve been on the internet in the past week or so, you’ve undoubtedly run into some portion of the SimCity debacle. The first franchise installment in around a decade was met with much disdain, as it employed an always-on DRM, and stripped some of the franchises’ core features in favor of it. However, your feelings regarding always-on DRM aside, it turns out if not for that DRM, you wouldn’t be able to wreak havoc across any player’s city at your own convenience.By way of a bit of editing game packages and tweaking code, YouTube user UKAzzer was able to trick the game into thinking he wasn’t in observer mode, but actually in control of someone else’s city. Fortunately, the demonstrated hack doesn’t involve any city syncing, so you can mess up a buddy’s city however you want, but the damage won’t be permanent.While UKAzzer’s method doesn’t permanently save city damage, he theorizes that other hackers can go deeper into the game’s code and begin spoofing city-owner IDs in order to sync the city damage.This hack wouldn’t be possible without the always-on DRM, as user cities wouldn’t all be connected through the server.Before we go blaming things on SimCity’s always-on DRM like we’re all accustomed to by now, maybe we should look at this in a positive light. You can pop into your buddy’s city and unleash Godzilla, destroying his carefully designed urban infrastructure, sending the lives of all of his digital inhabitants into disarray. That’s pretty funny.
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