Denuvo wants to prove to PC gamers that its DRM doesn’t affect performance

Denuvo wants to prove to PC gamers that its DRM doesn’t affect performance

Salzburg-based software company Denuvo first launched its tamper-proof DRM (Digital Rights Management software) in 2014. Soon, most game developers and publishers chose to embrace Denuvo in a bid to protect launch sales with its hard-to-hack software.

However, its application has led to many controversies. In some games like Tekken 7 and Sonic Mania Plus, Denuvo hit the CPU hard, resulting in worse performance than the DRM-free versions of these games. In other cases, such as Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, extensive testing has cleared Denuvo of causing any performance degradation.

The controversy still rages on to this day, which makes most PC gamers very happy when a developer chooses to drop DRM from their game. CAPCOM, for example, has a habit of doing this one to two years after launch, as we witnessed with Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil Village.

However, Denuvo has not resigned itself to the idea of ​​being a scapegoat for any weak computer port. In an interview published two days ago on Ars TechnicaSteve Huen (COO of Video Games at Irdeto, the company that acquired Denuvo in 2018) has publicly defended tamper-proof DRM.

Gamers almost never get access to the same protected and unprotected version of the game. Over the life of the game, there may be a protected and unprotected version, but those versions are not comparable because these are different versions over six months, many bug fixes, etc., which could make it better or worse. We’ve made an effort to implement security and check that performance is what it was and wasn’t affected… In anti-tamper I think there’s a clear statement that there’s no measurable impact on gameplay because of the way we do things.

Huin understands that their word is not enough for PC gamers. As such, he revealed that Irdeto intends to allow select ports to test nearly identical versions of a game with and without Denuvo.

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Unfortunately, our voice is not enough to convince people because we do not trust their intellect as a starting point in this debate. You’ll see for yourself that the performance is similar and identical…that should provide something that the community will hopefully trust.

The program, due to launch in the next few months, should lead to independent benchmarks that Huin hopes will convince PC gamers that Denuvo is no problem when it comes to performance.

Needless to say, we will be contacting Irdeto to request access to the program so that we can offer this newly announced independent test whenever available.

Interestingly, Huin later admitted in the interview that Denuvo may slightly affect performance, by less than one percent. However, it was referring to anti-cheat software, which is separate from DRM anti-tampering, and as far as we know, is also less popular among game developers, who tend to use BattlEye, EasyAntiCheat, or Valve Anti-Cheat. id tried Denuvo Anti-Cheat in DOOM Eternal but removed it in update 1.1.

Huin also mentioned that the company will focus more on anti-cheat technologies and their variations since they are pro-consumer. For example, Denuvo has launched a bot discovery technology called Non botify earlier this year, which also monitors auto-targeting consoles and the like.

On the other hand, the interview did not touch on the Nintendo Switch emulator protection software. Originally introduced by Denuvo in August 2022 (without Nintendo’s involvement), it doesn’t look like it’s stuck, especially since Nintendo Switch games are still available on day one (or even earlier, in some cases) via PC emulators like Yuzu. and reogenex.

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