Deus Ex: The Fall Cripples Players with Jailbroken iOS Devices

Fear of piracy strikes again: this time, guns are the latest victim of massive nerfs.

Deus Ex: The Fall seems to be Square Enix’s latest offensive against piracy, though pirates aren’t the ones complaining.

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The Fall, released yesterday on iOS for $6.99, is a stealth-based, role-playing first-person shooter. But for players who have jailbroken their devices, it seems that the latter component of the layered gameplay is missing––instead of bullets, the only thing that comes out of their guns is a curt error message:

“We are sorry but you can’t fire on jailbroken devices.”

“This is massively offensive on Square Enix’s behalf,” said Reddit user KipEnyan, who reported the issue online. “The obvious implication is that all jailbreakers are pirates who more than likely pirated this game.”

“Jailbreaking” on iOS devices refers to the removal of limitations on the operating system, allowing the download of additional applications that are unavailable through the official Apple App Store. By placing restrictions on jailbreakers, in turn, it seems likely that Square Enix is using The Fall to take a stand (no pun intended) against a key demographic of possible pirates.

However, not only was jailbreaking on smartphones ruled legal by the U.S. Copyright Office last year, but the restrictions are evidently targeting much more than just pirates.

“I paid good money for this game and [Square Enix] feels it’s okay to break my game because I prefer to customize my iPhone to my liking,” said KipEnyan.

And for all those suggesting that players with jailbroken devices simply run a nonlethal playthrough, here’s the kicker: KipEnyan received the error message when he tried to fire a tranquilizer gun. Which, frankly, is hilarious.

Microsoft’s attempt at an always-online DRM policy may have been one of the more controversial ones, but it certainly wasn’t the last. The Fall‘s gun restrictions represent an industry-wide rally against piracy that seems to have yet to come up with a solution that keeps its fanbase out of the crossfire.

Here’s a tip, Square Enix: if you want to crack down on piracy, maybe actually go after pirates?

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Raymond W