Denuvo, the infamous video game anti-piracy software provider, was acquired by Irdeto earlier this year in January. In a statement posted on Irdeto’s website, the software company shared research results which claim game piracy caused a potential loss of $21 million for an unnamed AAA sports title in the two weeks following its release.
According to the official statement, Irdeto tracked illegal torrent downloads of a “major sports title” which was cracked on release day. The software company claims that this is a result of not using Denuvo anti-tamper protection. “During the first two weeks, Irdeto detected 355,664 torrent downloads of the illegal copy of the title. Given the retail price of the game, this puts the total potential loss of revenue from P2P downloads at $21,336,283.”
The statement notes that 12% of all illegal downloads were recorded during the first day, with majority of them occurring in the first hour following release.
Irdeto believes that the first two weeks after release are the most crucial moments of a game’s ‘release cycle’. “For highly anticipated titles, this could include up to 80% of sales, 50% of which are within the first four days,” the statement continues.
While Denuvo isn’t unbeatable, it certainly keeps a game from being cracked during its initial sales window. The estimates in the research assume that each pirated download is lost revenue, which is not always the case. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, many video game developers continue to use Denuvo even after the game has been cracked.
“Piracy is a threat that is firmly established in the games industry and, as our research suggests, it can result in potentially huge revenue losses for publishers if their games are compromised within the 14-day window following release,” says Managing Director Reinhard Blaukovitsch. “It is crucial for publishers to implement security strategies that make their games as difficult as possible to crack and reverse engineer. This way they will be able to better protect the revenues that allow them to continue to create such compelling games.”