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CODEX, a long-running piracy group, shuts down

The group was well known for cracking video games
Last Updated on December 1, 2023
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CODEX, a group that appeared in 2014, has decided to call it quits on the cracking software scene as found in the .nfo file for The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories (a .nfo is a text file that gives instructions or allows the scene to reach a wider audience with updates).

The reason behind the sudden shutdown of activity is that CODEX feels they’ve now become the dominant group, making vague references to the various other groups in a scathing message.

Codex group notes.

CODEX was founded with one and only one goal in mind: “to give the dominating PC games group at the time, RELOADED, some serious competition.”

A highly motivated and hard-working group of veterans and rookies alike banded together and created a new name to achieve that goal. It was fun and sometimes dirty ride with lots of give and take on both sides. But sadly, it did not last very long and RLD started to crumble and slowly fell apart, making the scene less interesting. what was left when they finally surrendered and the dust settled? The blade has been dull for a long time. Quality, tradition and pride was slowly fading to darkness.

Of course, there is a particular group that uses an old name without permission. From the first day they started releasing in the PC section, they have worked hard to shamelessly destroy the reputation of a once iconic group tag when they really should have closed down years ago after all the spectacular fu***** they are responsible for. Since then there have only been people resurrecting and adopting old names from previously busted groups instead of creating something new and unique on their own. Starting from nothing to slowly build up a reputation for themselves through hard work was obviously too much of a hassle and recycling old identities to get a head start was their way to go.

Still, even with that, this did not lead to any serious competition with two traits we pride ourselves on– a strong continued effort and a good amount of quality output on more than just DRM-free games or simple Steam protections.

CODEX cracked a large variety of protections like Steam (Stub+API+CEG), Arxan, XboxLive, UWP, Denuvo, origin, Epic, Uplay, Bethesda.net, Battle.net and custom protections on games like Grim Dawn, Street Fighter V, WwE2k20, Croteam games, BigAnt games, Minecraft Dungeons, and many more. So now, years after reaching our initial goal, we feel that it is time to move on.

We thank everyone who accompanied and supported us on our journey. Have a good time… Bye from CODEX !

In the Piracy subreddit, a user has gone through the message to see if they can decipher the mentions, which they have to some success:

“The blade has been dull for a long time.” = RAZOR

“Quality, tradition and pride was slowly fading to darkness” = FLT (QUALITY, TRADITION AND PRIDE is the slogan in their NFO)

“there is a particular group that uses an old name without permission.” = SKIDROW (when they were reborn in 2007, there was drama surrounding the use of the SKIDROW name)

“they really should have closed down years ago after all the spectacular f****** they are responsible for” = also SKIDROW (for years, they had a history of releasing bad cracks, stolen cracks, incorrectly nuking/propering other groups, etc)

“people resurrecting and adopting old names from previously busted groups” = HOODLUM (busted during Operation Site Down in 2005)


What did CODEX do?

CODEX was responsible for being of the few teams to crack the infamous Denuvo DRM, a digital rights management system that has had a negative effect on games, due to its need to be connected online and use up resources to provide its security.

Cracking it was one of the reasons that a Chinese team stop cracking games for about a year to assess the situation, meanwhile, CODEX continued to provide pirated copies of these games without the DRM at a delayed rate due to the complexity. This changed in 2017 and onwards, as games were either being cracked before they were released or within a few hours after release.

CODEX leaves behind 7300 games cracked and provided to users for free. Perhaps they’ll return when something challenging comes up.

Joel is a a lover of janky games, Magic the Gathering, and going down rabbit holes. For PC Guide he has written about peripherals, the Steam Deck, retro games, news and more.