Crash Bandicoot 4 PC version cracked almost as soon as it launched

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time originally launched in 2020 but saw a soft relaunch Friday for next-generation consoles, the Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. The PC version of the game was exclusively on the Activision-Blizzard app and oddly required an online connection to launch the game. PC gamers typically loathe any game that requires an Internet connection to start, despite that the game is entirely off-line in nature.

Crash Bandicoot 4 uses an online-only DRM, which is why it requires an Internet connection even though it's not an online game. Unfortunately for Activision, hackers got ahold of the PC version of the game, and the DRM was cracked in a single day. The game launched on Friday, and by the middle of the day on Saturday, a group known as Empress had bypassed the online requirement for the game.

The heck replaced a single file in the install. The group behind the crack doesn't explain what exactly it does other than saying it defeats the DRM and eliminates the online-only requirement to launch the game. Since Crash Bandicoot 4 has no online content, even though it has a co-mode, but it is designed specifically for players together physically. The game also has a four-player versus mode, also requiring players to be physically present with each other.

The online-only requirement appears to be solely for the DRM, not needed for checking for new content. None of the console versions of the game feature a requirement for an Internet connection. Activision launched other Crash Bandicoot games for PC players with no online-only restrictions when the games were available via Steam.

The game is now available exclusively via, and now the developers make the game require an Internet connection. Most players won't have an issue with the connection requirement, but the hack bypasses it for those who do.