Denuvo has become an incredibly popular form of DRM amongst game publishers over the years but as we have seen over the last year, it can be cracked. This week, DOOM is dropping Denuvo DRM on PC after finally being cracked.
In an unexpected move, the infamous anti-piracy technology Denuvo has been removed from the PC version of Doom reports torrentfreak. The development follows a similar move last month when developer Playdead removed Denuvo from its game 'Inside'. Did a refund clause in the Denuvo deal trigger these removals?
With piracy now an accepted part of video game culture, the main aim of developers is to stop their games leaking in the early days, weeks and months following their launch.
It’s suggested that this piracy-free window of opportunity might allow the bigger and more ambitious titles to recoup much of the money spent creating them. No surprise then that companies are offering solutions to achieve that aim.
The main technology facilitating this breathing space today is Denuvo. This anti-tamper technology sits on top of other DRM, making the majority of games completely uncrackable. However, in more recent months, Denuvo protection has come under fire from a group calling itself CPY.
As a result, more and more Denuvo-protected games are appearing free-to-play online, having had their protections circumvented. But as pirates celebrate, something unexpected is happening. Having been cracked by CPY, some games are having Denuvo removed by their developers.
The latest case involves first-person shooter, Doom. As one of 2016’s biggest AAA releases, Doom is a highly desirable title so it was no surprise it was protected by Denuvo following its release in May.
However, the game was cracked relatively quickly by CPY and began appearing on piracy networks early September. Now developer Bethesda has removed Denuvo from the game altogether.
This is the second game for which Denuvo has been completely removed. The first one was Playdead’s Inside. Bethesda and id Software have not commented on this yet, and have not revealed the reasons why this anti-tamper tech has been removed.
However, it appears that Denuvo’s removal was due to both DOOM and Inside being cracked in such a relatively short amount of time. According to a Redditor, who claims to be a game developer for a company that started using Denuvo, publishers do not have to pay for Denuvo (and claim a refund) if their games are cracked within a certain time. Moreover, and in order to claim the refund, publishers must remove Denuvo from their games.
As the Redditor claimed:
“I work for a large studio that started using Denuvo recently. I’m neutral on piracy and pirate TV shows a lot, so don’t give me a hard time, certainly not here to judge.
I do want to explain what happened here, Denuvo Software Solutions offers a guarantee, if your Denuvo game is cracked within a certain time (3 months is normal), you do not have to pay for Denuvo. Part of claiming the refund is you must remove Denuvo from your game.”
As always, take with this with a grain of salt, however this logic does seem to apply to both DOOM and Inside.