Denuvo has long been heralded as the ultimate defence against video game piracy, but more and more developers are removing the technology. There is a reason.
Denuvo took a long time to finally fall to the hackers, but it was only a matter of time. Just a few weeks ago a patch removed Denuvo from Playdead’s Inside, and id Software has now followed suit by removing the tech from Doom. Back in July, Rise of the Tomb Raider was hacked, fully bypassing Denuvo in the process.
Piracy is widely accepted as a fact of life in the video game industry, as it is in the movie and music industry. Where there is content, there are people who wish to acquire said content without paying a dime. This is life.
While Denuvo previously been regarded as the anti-piracy tech to end video game piracy, Denuvo Sales & Marketing Director Thomas Goebl has previously stated that this is not the point. Goebl told PCGamesN that “[w]e do not position our Anti-Tamper solution as uncrackable, only hard to crack.”
Developers widely accept that piracy is inevitable, and their main aim is to stop their games leaking and being hacked in the early days, weeks and months following their launch. This piracy-free window is suggested to allow a larger window of opportunity for the titles to recoup as much money as possible.
But, why are developers so keen to drop Denuvo entirely as soon as their games get dropped? Well, once again, it comes down to money.
Widespread reports suggest that Denuvo guarantees that their anti-piracy technology will stop titles from being cracked for a minimum of 3 months. If a game is cracked 2 months, three weeks and 6 days after release then Denuvo promise a full refund. It is in the developers best financial interests to get their money back in full, not just because the security obviously didn’t work so wasn’t worth the money, but because they start losing money to torrent sites from that moment onward.
It is in the developers best financial interests to get their money back in full, not just because the security obviously didn’t work so wasn’t worth the money, but because they start losing money to torrent sites from that moment onward.
The catch is, in order to qualify for the full refund, the developers need to remove Denuvo from their game entirely; they cannot benefit from even a line of code. This is the reason developers are so keen to drop Denuvo as soon as their titles are compromised; it’s not to throw sand in the face of the technology company, but a legal requirement in order to qualify for one last big cheque.