Like the British Empire roving the Caribbean in search of Eye Liner Johnny Depp, video game publishers have been waging a huge war against piracy for years. And it seems, like in actual history, they might finally be winning.

As Torrent Freak reports, the founder of Chinese hacking forum 3DM says pirating games—making them available for free online through unofficial channels—is getting so hard as to be not worth doing anymore. In the case of the recently released Just Cause 3, pirates very nearly gave up on “cracking” the game, or breaking through its protections, because it is taking them so long to do.

Just Cause 3 was released on Dec. 1 and still hasn’t been cracked. That’s thanks to Denuvo Software Solutions’ protection software on the game, apparently. 3DM forum founder Bird Sister says she thinks that, sooner or later, she and her pirate pals will break through Just Cause 3’s protections, but if things keep on as they are, it’ll be too difficult to crack new games within the next couple of years.

“I still believe that this game can be compromised,” Bird Sister wrote on the forum. “But according to current trends in the development of encryption technology, in two years time I’m afraid there will be no free games to play in the world.”

Truly that is a bleak picture (from some perspectives, at least), although if years of hacker movies have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t stop the signal, that you must hack the planet, and that life finds a way. Surely enterprising young people of the future will watch The Matrix and be inspired to find other ways to steal video games.