- Repacked games are compressed versions of original games, made smaller for easier downloading and distributed by individuals or groups known as repackers, with Fitgirl and DODI being notable examples.
- Scene groups are skilled in bypassing DRM protections to obtain games for repacking, but the introduction of Denuvo DRM has led to a decline in their activity due to its complexity and legal risks, despite its negative impact on game performance and high implementation cost.
- While repacked games offer free access to games, they are a form of piracy and thus illegal, highlighting the importance of supporting game developers by purchasing games legally to ensure they receive fair compensation for their work.
If you’ve been browsing through gaming forums and pages looking for new games to try out, or how you can fix issues found in a game, it’s impossible not to come across a mention of FitGirl. But what or who exactly is FitGirl? If you do a quick search, the results show that it’s someone who releases repacked games. What are repacked games? Read on below to find out.
Table of Contents
What are Repacked Games?
Repacked games, generally termed “repacks” are games that have been compressed for the purpose of installation for gaming PCs running Windows. They have a smaller size than the game they are compressing and come with a third-party installer application. Both these files are “packaged” into a repack by a repacker. They are free to download.
Who are Repackers and How Do They Repack Games?
Repackers are developers that compress the game files using their own custom algorithms. Using these algorithms, they’re able to compress the game files to a great extent and simultaneously, make them compatible with the installer.
The installer is another custom application developed by the repacker. The size of the repack and the time it takes to install a game, depends on the repacker’s methods. Repackers distribute their repacks through private file hosting sites or through torrents. Some famous repackers are FitGirl and DODI.
Where Do These Repackers Get the Games?
Repackers get their game files from scene releases. Scene groups are a group of developers that work on bypassing a game’s anti-piracy protections or DRM (Digital Rights Management). Scene groups are private communities that work on pirating several kinds of digital media. They are exactly those hackers in the movies; able to crack nearly any software for their own needs and purposes.
Scene groups do not crack anything for the purpose of sharing with others; they do it for themselves. They don’t take any requests and don’t offer any updates on what they’re working on. However, since this is a group we’re talking about, some members share these cracks with the public through file hosting sites, although some of them may do so at a price.
Nevertheless, someone buys or obtains the scene release of the digital media and posts it in a piracy forum, where people may download it freely, or repackers can repack it and distribute it even further. Famous scene groups like CODEX and CPY were a bit public and dedicated to cracking games.
The Decline of Scenes and The Rise of Denuvo
There are different types of DRM protections available, but the most impenetrable is Denuvo. Over the past several years, several scene groups have been forced into retirement, and a few even arrested, for trying to bypass Denuvo. Compared to the other DRMs, which are cracked by scene groups in mere hours after a game’s release, Denuvo is completely different.
How Denuvo works is beyond the scope of this article, and honestly, only something scene groups can hope to understand. Games that are protected by Denuvo are rarely cracked at all; in fact, a large amount of them remain uncracked. This is because Denuvo regularly updates its protection and is even known to offer jobs to scene group members who’ve successful in bypassing their protection.
Sometimes, developers e.g. CAPCOM may remove Denuvo from a game after a certain amount of time, after which the scenes will promptly proceed to do their job. In some cases, an update release for a game forgets to implement Denuvo, and scene groups take advantage of the mistake, as was the case with Gotham Knights. Presently, only 2 or 3 people can crack Denuvo, of whom we’re aware of, at least.
The most famous of them is EMPRESS, but recently even they have gone radio silent ever since a rumor went around that Denuvo had figured out how EMPRESS was doing it. Even before these recent events, EMPRESS would take a paid request for only 1 Denuvo game per month. As for when the game would release, that would be up to them. Nevertheless, things are looking bleak for the future of pirated games.
Why is Denuvo Not Used on Every Game?
The question you might be asking right now must be; if Denuvo is so good at its job, why doesn’t every game use it? Well, that’s because Denuvo comes with 2 big disadvantages; games with Denuvo have reduced performance, and that it’s expensive.
1. Denuvo Reduces Performance
While Denuvo itself denies this claim, it has been proven by many in the gaming community, and even been silently accepted by several game studios.
A famous example of this is when Resident Evil: Village forgot to implement Denuvo on an update release and the game became vulnerable for a few hours. By the time, the issue was resolved, the damage had been done. Several hours later, comparisons on forums and YouTube began popping up showing the remarkable difference in performance between the Denuvo and Denuvo-less version of the game.
In more recent years, this happened with Rocksteady’s Gotham Knights. An example of how game studios have silently accepted that Denuvo reduces performance is by none other than one of the most awaited game release of this year; Bandai Namco’s TEKKEN 8. Although Bandai Namco opted for Denuvo in the case of TEKKEN 7, it was removed in 2021. But for TEKKEN 8, they did not opt for Denuvo at all.
Despite all the evidence, Denuvo claims that it does not hinder performance at all. In fact, they announced that they would allow “community-trusted third-parties” to conduct tests to compare the Denuvo and Denuvo-less versions of games. While this was announced back in July 2023, there has been no further word on this.
2. Denuvo is Expensive
Another reason why games don’t use Denuvo is because it’s expensive. Naturally, the best protection comes with a hefty price tag, one that would certainly be unfeasible for indie game developers. However, it all depends on the game studio whether they want to prevent their game from being pirated and reel in the maximum number of profits.
Even though Denuvo is legal, many gamers and even some developers are against it. Regardless of whatever opinion you may hold on to repacked games, it’s an irrefutable fact that they are a form of pirated media, and therefore, are illegal. Hence, it’s best to stay on the right side of the law, and hope that Denuvo fixes its technology in future updates.
Repacked games are highly compressed forms of games for Windows PCs, available to download for free. They come with a custom installer and are distributed by repackers.
Scene groups are private communities that provide pirated digital media for a price, but sometimes for free too. Since the files they provide are raw and usually very large in size, repackers compress them using their own unique methods and further distribute them for free.
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is the anti-piracy protection technology that is implemented on copyrighted digital media. Most DRMs are not that secure as they are outdated and don’t receive updates as often as they used to. The most secure DRM is Denuvo.
While Denuvo is the most secure and impenetrable DRM, it is not used by every game studio particularly because of the fact that it reduces the game’s performance and because it is expensive to implement.