PS4: God of War Ragnarok available Day 1 on piracy platforms
Despite requiring PS4 Firmware 9.50 or above , God of War Ragnarok has been decrypted and “backported” to firmware 9.00 by warez hacker CyB1K. People running on Jailbroken PS4s have been rushing to piracy platforms to download the game.
God of War Ragnarok PS5/PS4 – popular everywhere, including pirate platforms
The PS5 version of God of War Ragnarok sits at an impressive Metacritic score of 94, making it the second-highest-rated new title of the year according to VGC (number 1 being Elden Ring). The PS4 version, although it doesn’t have a metacritic score, is great as well. It stands to reason that the game is not only popular among critics and gamers who purchased it, but also pirates.
Sony have a mechanism in place that ensures a minimal firmware is required to run a game. In the case of GoW Ragnarok, this seems to be 9.50 (although some people are reporting it needs 9.60).
In most cases, these firmware requirements are artificial, and only in place to ensure compatibility with the SDK version it was compiled with. But a side effect of this mechanism is that it “limits” piracy: in order to pirate PS4 games, one has to be on a Jailbroken console. And in order to Jailbreak a PS4, that console has to be on a lower firmware.
In practice though, this doesn’t seem to stop warez hackers. Most PS4 games are made available on piracy platforms independently of their original firmware requirements, and in the case of GoW Ragnarok, the game has been available within a day of its release, with pirates rushing to popular warez sites in order to get it.
This brings the question of how these releases happen in the first place.
The business of backporting and Decrypting PS4 games
Currently, the highest firmware one can have to Jailbreak their console is 9.00. This means that in theory a game like God of War Ragnarok will refuse to run on the console.
This is were “backporters” come. They will modify the game’s data to run on a lower firmware. Sometimes, it’s as easy as a simple patch to some configuration file. Other times, it requires a deeper dive, in the rare case that the game actually relies on some functionality that was introduced in a recent firmware.
The techniques used to do the backport are fairly simple and well understood. What’s kept a secret though, is how backporters acquire the decrypted game packages in the first place: in order to decrypt the games (and therefore be able to dump the files and “backport” them), one has to be able to run the game on a hacked PS4 first. The chicken and egg scenario here is that the game will refuse to run on lower firmware consoles as long as it’s not patched. This means the backporters either have private hacks for PS4s running on higher firmware than 9.00, or other means to decrypt PS4 games.
That aspect is of course the part we find interesting here at wololo.net, but it’s a well kept secret.
As far as piracy of a game that just launched, as you know we do not condone that. Thankfully for Sony, we have to assume piracy is more or less marginal right now: in order to pirate a PS4 game, one does need a Jailbroken console, and those are pretty hard to find. And for the PS5, it’s not fully hacked yet and piracy isn’t a thing on that platform, so no doubt that GoW will sell extremely well, despite its availability on PS4 Warez sites.