Starfield players pirate the DLSS mod after the developer locks it behind paywall

Starfield players pirate the DLSS mod after the developer locks it behind paywall

Starfield gamers have begun pirating a popular upscale mod for the game after the developer placed it behind a paywall.

In the past week, modder PureDark released Starfield Upscaler - Replacing FSR2 with DLSS.

The mod replaces the FSR2 upscaling technology included in the game (which is made for AMD graphics cards) with DLSS, the corresponding technology found in Nvidia's graphics cards. It has been downloaded almost 280,000 times so far and supports the DLSS2 upscaler, which is the second generation.

Kotaku reports that PureDark has since released a second iteration of the hack that supports DLSS3, a more modern upscaler that is compatible with more recent Nvidia cards. This mod has been locked behind a paywall by PureDark and is only accessible to those who donate $5 to their Patreon page, as opposed to being made available for free like the previous one.

According to reports, PureDark, who claimed to make more than $40,000 per month from locking DLSS3 mods behind their Patreon page, even installed DRM to the mod to ensure that gamers had paid the $5 before it could be activated.

Some players' reactions to the paywall have been unfavorable; they think that charging for mods is unethical and goes against the spirit of community modification. Others think that introducing DRM is going too far, even though modders should be compensated for their labor. As a result, the mod has already been cracked, with players exchanging techniques for getting around the DRM and downloading the DLSS3 mod for $0.

Of course, the best solution would be for Bethesda to update Starfield and include native DLSS support. It may be because AMD is "Starfield's exclusive PC partner" and only supports FSR2 technology at launch that the game only does so. The head of AMD's gaming division Frank Azor, though, hinted last month that this apparent exclusivity might not remain indefinitely.

He explained to The Verge that Bethesda's decision to use FSR was motivated by the fact that the Xbox Series X/S also uses AMD GPUs. "Bethesda has our full support if and when they decide to add DLSS to the game."

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