Oculus quietly removes Rift exclusivity DRM

Oculus quietly removes Rift exclusivity DRM
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

June 27th 2016 at 8:58AM

Although headset maker insists ‘protecting developer content is critical to the long-term success of the VR industry’

Oculus has pulled a U-turn on its controversial decision to implement tight DRM restrictions on VR games for the Rift headset.

The firm introduced stricter measures aimed at stopping users playing Rift exclusive games on rival headsets such as the HTC Vive in May.

The move was partially sparked by the release of ‘Revive’, a workaround that allowed titles such as Lucky’s Tale to be played on competing hardware.

However, following Oculus’ attempts to stem universal compatibility, Revive’s creator updated their software to completely bypass DRM, simultaneously opening the door for VR software to be potentially pirated.

The same developer noticed that the latest update for the Rift headset removed the DRM check within Oculus’ runtime, once again allowing games to be played on the Vive. Revive has since been pared back to avoid the need to bypass DRM completely, remvoing the ability to pirate titles. 

Oculus didn’t list the change in its patch notes, but confirmed to Ars Technica that it “will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future”.

It seems that the company still believes in the need for measures such as DRM, however, as it added: “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.”