In the ongoing war against digital piracy, the Denuvo Anti-Tamper digital rights management scheme is something many of today’s game developers opt for. While Denuvo was strong in its early stages, many games using the anti-piracy measure today are being cracked relatively quickly. It’s no secret that the DRM causes performance issues in several games, so why is it that developers continue to use it even after their games have been cracked?
In his analysis video examining several such cases, Overlord Gaming explains why some developers stick to Denuvo, while others drop the DRM protection software shortly after a crack shows up. It should come as no surprise that Denuvo charges a lot of money on its anti-tamper service. According to a Redditor who interacted with Denuvo directly, DRM protection for AAA titles can set developers back by $100,000. No doubt, a lot of revenue is generated for each day a game goes uncracked thanks to Denuvo, but the company does not offer refunds in case their software fails.
Does this mean that it’s money down the drain if a game is cracked shortly after release? Not necessarily. As Overlord Gaming explains, many developers whose games have been cracked continue to use Denuvo to protect DLC content. Monolith Production’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of War was cracked in under 24 hours, but the developers stuck with Denuvo which is why none of the four expansion packs have been cracked yet. Something similar also happened to Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed Origins, as their Curse Of The Pharaohs DLC is yet to be cracked.
Not all game developers follow this course of action, as some titles, such as DOOM and Mad Max, dropped Denuvo shortly after they were cracked. Denuvo VP of Sales Robert Hernandez said, “The simple reason why Denuvo Anti Tamper was removed from Doom was because it had accomplished its purpose by keeping the game safe from piracy during the initial sales window. The protection on Doom held up for nearly four months, which is an impressive accomplishment for such a high-profile game”.
As anti-piracy measures continue to improve, their expenses for the developers also increase. Anti-piracy DRM, in this case Denuvo, is generally disliked among the gaming community for many reasons. While it varies for every title, at the end of the day, it’s up to the developers to decide whether they want to implement some form of DRM protection in their games.