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Oculus drops DRM check from Store software, leaving modders free to play games on Vive

Finally it seems like Oculus is listening to its fanbase. After weeks of criticism over its wagon circling around its Oculus Home platform as it tried in vain to restrict games to the Oculus Rift headset only, it has relented and removed the controversial DRM. While Oculus is still committed to keeping games exclusive to its store, it will no longer prevent modders from making them work on other hardware.

Originally reported by the developer of the Revive Injector, which makes it possible to play Oculus Rift games on HTC Vive headsets, we reached out to Oculus and can confirm that it has indeed removed some of the DRM restrictions.

“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,” Oculus said in a statement to Digital Trends.

“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.”

Although this might seem like a half measure from Oculus, this is much more in line with what it’s said all along: that it wanted some games to be exclusive, but if people modded them to make them work unofficially elsewhere, that was ok. The backtracking on that statement is half the reason that there has been so much animosity between the company and fans.

The headset check DRM was originally brought in after the Revive Injector was first unveiled by its developer, CrossVR. It was the first leg in a short run, very one-sided arms race between the two entities, which saw Oculus force a check that a Rift was plugged in to launch the Oculus Home store.

Of course, in short order that was circumvented, but in doing so modders actually made it possible to pirate Oculus games. That is not something that the Revive developer necessarily wanted, and they said as much in their release notes. They would much prefer it if Oculus only put superficial restrictions in place for launching the games.

Related: HTC Vive review

That seems to be the state we’re back to now, with Oculus still keeping its fingers crossed that you’ll go out and buy a Rift and play games on the Store with its official hardware. However, it will at least now allow you to buy games from it and play them on other hardware, if you’d prefer — and are willing to dig into some mods.

It doesn’t’ guarantee the quality of the experiences, of course, and the Revive developer does urge everyone to check the compatibility list before buying any Oculus titles and trying to play them on a Vive. But at least it is possible now without either side opting for a nuclear option in the VR exclusivity war.