Denuvo Says Doom Dropped Their Anti-Piracy Tech Because It Got The Job Done

Denuvo Says Doom Dropped Their Anti-Piracy Tech Because It Got The Job Done

Denuvo, once the iron-clad terror of pirates everywhere, was recently removed from two high-profile games, Doom and Inside. Why? After more than a week of speculation, Denuvo has decided to clarify things.

“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,” Denuvo’s Robert Hernandez said to me in an email. “The protection on Doom held up for nearly four months, which is an impressive accomplishment for such a high-profile game.”

He also said that there’s no truth to the rumour that Denuvo strikes deals with game publishers where, if their anti-piracy tech is cracked within a certain timeframe, publishers can get a refund. “We can’t comment on our deals with specific customers, but we do not have any deals in place that offer refunds if a game is cracked within a specific time frame,” Hernandez said. “However, each publisher is of course free to remove our anti tamper tech from their title once they feel the protection has achieved its purpose in protecting the initial sales window, or if they have other reasons for doing so, such as selling the title on DRM-free platforms.”

After a period of many months in which Denuvo seemed nearly impassable, hackers began to crack the code earlier this year. In addition to Doom and Inside, other games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst saw their defences fall in recent months. Denuvo, however, claims that’s not the reason a couple publishers decided to peel it off their games.

“We don’t position Denuvo Anti Tamper as being uncrackable,” said Hernandez. “No anti piracy solution is. However, our goal is to keep each title safe from piracy during the crucial initial sales window when most of the sales are made.”


  • So now it has done its job, does Denuvo erase itself from the drive or does it sit there collecting dust, how does it work?

  • Given that there is an engineering cost to remove the DRM and put out an update, presumably there was a financial incentive to do so.

    Perhaps there is an ongoing fee to include the Denuvo software in the game, so patching it out eliminates future costs after its usefulness has come to an end? That would still be in line with Denuvo’s statement about not having refund clauses in their contracts.

    • Simple financial reasoning would be it’s cheaper to remove it while the product is being patched for other reasons than in a year or two when it’s no longer being worked on but something is making it unplayable now (see past DRM issues where they no longer work with new versions of Windows etc) also there are not a great deal but still a number of people who don’t pirate but also don’t want games that have DRM protections

  • I would be happy if all games drop their DRM after a certain time period. Trying to legitimately play some games from the mid 2000’s that used starforce is nearly impossible these days.

    Obviously if you pirate them you can still play them easily but I shouldn’t have to pirate something I paid for.

    • If that were the reason, they’d be pulling it from other games, too.
      The ‘sales window’ reason posited by Denuvo is the simplest, most obvious and most overwhelmingly likely answer.

      Similar to how movies only give a shit about US domestic box office sales when considering a movie a ‘success’ or not (despite the bulk of profits coming from International release), games publishers are only super concerned about their initial sales window. After that, it only makes sense to remove DRM if you intend to distribute on DRM-free distribution platforms, and not have to factor it into your patching process.

      The job of DRM isn’t to keep the game uncrackable for a year, it’s to keep it uncracked for a few weeks; ideally a few months, but those initial weeks are all they truly care about.

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