Rime Dev Says It Will Drop Denuvo DRM Once The Game Is Cracked

Rime Dev Says It Will Drop Denuvo DRM Once The Game Is Cracked

Rime, the indie game caught halfway between Ico and Journey, was released last week. With Denuvo DRM. Like a lot of games. But that made some players angry, and prompted the developer, Tequila Works, to state that once the Denuvo DRM is broken, which it eventually always is, the company will release a DRM-free version of the game.

Image credit: Tequila Works

“I have seen some conversations about our use of Denuvo anti-tamper, and I wanted to take a moment to address it,” wrote designer Darius on the game’s Steam forum page.

We have had discussions about Denuvo internally, and one of the key points of all of those discussions have simply been, we want to ensure the best gaming experience for RiME players. RiME is a very personal experience told through both sight and sound. When a game is cracked, it runs the risk of creating issues with both of those items, and we want to do everything we can to preserve this quality in RiME.

We are very committed to this, but also to the simple fact that nothing is infallible. That being said, if RIME is cracked we will release a Denuvo free version of RiME and update existing platforms.

Denuvo is a particular type of DRM (digital rights management) that tries to lock would-be hackers out of a game, protecting it from being tampered with and, more importantly, pirated, by using online authentication to tie particular digital copies of games to particular hardware. It was effective enough that a lot of pirates worried last year that games were becoming too difficult to hack.

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More recently, however, Denuvo has offered less security. Hackers were able to disable Resident Evil 7‘s anti-piracy controls in the first week after its release. Rime may take longer since the game is on fewer people’s radars, but the way Tequila Works has framed their intentions does look an awful lot like a challenge.

Many on the forum even took the statement as something of an insult, claiming that this meant the company would withhold a better version of the game (some believe that Denuvo hurts a game’s performance) until the arbitrary date when it is successfully hacked, effectively penalising the game’s early adopters. Tequila Works rejected this reasoning, however, with Darius adding later in the same thread,

While you don’t have to agree with what I am saying, lets try to remain civil please? We made the decision to use Denuvo to protect the game getting pirated. That is the simple fact of it. Denuvo is not DRM, it is anti tamper software.

As I mentioned in the above post, if RiME gets cracked, we plan to update the versions across all platforms with the Denuvo free version of the game.

In this way, Tequila Works’ plans for its anti-piracy efforts are not to dissimilar from Playdead’s, the studio behind Inside, which dropped use of Denuvo on Steam in a subsequent update to the game.

You can read Kotaku’s take on the long-awaited island adventure game here.


  • RiME is a very personal experience told through both sight and sound. When a game is cracked, it runs the risk of creating issues with both of those items

    Stop spouting bullshit. Don’t dance around the issue and try to make this sound like you are doing the people who bought your game a favour by “keeping the game experience” intact. Just admit you won’t remove the DRM because you don’t want people to pirate the game. No one who bought your game will hate you for it.

    • Because apparently using DRM to block piracy is not acceptable anymore. Any company using some form of hard to crack DRM will be under fire for preventing people from pirating

      Which I have nfi why is this even a thing and why are we even addressing people that are pirating the game. Is like you release a car, then say we have anti theft system then the whole internet goes outrage because everyone want to steal a car?

      • I’ve been somewhat against DRM ever since the issues I had with Ubisoft’s Uplay. It would be like having a car anti-theft system that suddenly stopped your car in the middle of the freeway while you’re driving it (even though you are the actual owner) just because it can’t get a wifi signal.

        • Everyone likes to blame uPlay but you can just play it in offline mode if your wifi is bad. If you are playing online game then would be pointless since you already know your wifi drops off from time to time and blaming uPlay for your wifi dropping out is abit far fetched?

          • There’s been numerous occasions where the uplay server’s have famously gone down and rendered everyone’s games unplayable, it’s not just down to anyone’s wifi quality.

          • Are you talking about the scenario like rainbow 6 servers were down and no one was able to play? Thats unrelated with the DRM issue. The game just require internet connection to be played.

          • Hard to recall the specifics, but I think I remember games like Assassins Creed in single player being left unplayable because of it too.

          • Yea I remember that one. It should be the assassins Creed unity that was completely broken and their on the fly multiplayer integration into the single player was so broken that they took it down for a long time.

            Their server was hammered to the point that you have to block internet to play SP so it won’t lag due to the connection errors.

          • Uh, bro, Ubisoft considered (At the time) their Always-Online solution to be DRM. Until that got cracked.

            The issue people have with Denouvo is that it can cause framerate issues. I’ve never experienced them, but who knows, maybe if D wasn’t on the game, I’d get 61 fps, not 60 lol.

          • My 2 biggest Denuvo Horror stories are thus.

            1:) Lords of the fallen. [VIDEO CARD DAMAGED HARDWARE]

            I buy LOTF and play away for an hour out or so, and then the visials suddelnly went rainbow/green like. So I quit the game. A minute after that Windows froze and I had to power off my machine by holding the power button. I boot up to a black screen and a “No Signal” message on my 4 month old 4Gb Gigabyte GTX970 G1 Gaming. Both the DVI ports and the HDMI port were fried (I tested them). I couldn’t test the DP’s as my monitor only has VGA, DVI and HDMI. I took my card to the shop where I bought it and the techies said, the ports had been overloaded and fried. They got a replacement sent from the Gigabyte factory and I spent 4 months on my old Gigabyte GTX760 OC Edition, until the replacement card arrived in Australia. Odd that this happenes to a near brand new card after just having a Denuvo protected game crash out on me in spectaculour fashion, and then crash windows after said crash?


            When I bought DOOM I was in heaven. My old (RMA Replacement) GTX970 could get 60FPS in Ultra Settings. The problem was I could never get more than an hour of play before it crashed with a Memory Access Violation (0xc00000005) crash, and the game’s crash reporter would crash too. The Steam DOOM discussions and Bethesda DOOM forum had a thread about this crash that grew, and grew and grew. Everyone’s crash log (which saved to the HDD when the reporter crashed) was almost identical. Then Bethesda decided to remove Denuvo, from DOOM. Halelujah! I have never had an Access Violation appcrash on DOOM ever since and can play all day long. The crash threads in Steam and Bethesda also stopped growing, meaning that everyones crash problem was caused by Denuvo and solved by removal of Denuvo.

            Months later and still no issues on DOOM, and with my new GTX1080 I am getting lovely 120fps buttery smoothness on DOOM! I will never fire up Lords of the Fallen again, and it is uninstalled from my machine permenantly!

            THIS is why I am sceptical about Denuvo!

            I have had hardware and software issues personally because of denuvo.

            But I don’t ask about Denuvo on any forums, and why? BECAUSE ALL THE BLIND DENUVO FANBOYS ALWAYS ACCUSE ME OF BEING A PIRATE FOR NOT LOVING DENUVO!!!!

            If I was a pirate, would my Steam Account have over 600 games, with a large percentage of them expensive AAA titles? Denuvo DOES cause performance issues and the rev 1 version with Lords of the Fallen blew all my ports on my video card!

      • Because DRM systems invariably interfere with legitimate owners. To use your car example, it would be like if they released a car but for a percentage of owners it either won’t start at all or crashes into the garage door when you try to use it.

        • More like the doors all lock, and the engine explodes and the trapped driver perishes in the ensuing fire. That’s what would happen if Cars had Denuvo anti-theft systems.

    • I’d say the people who are complaining that Denuvo negatively affects the game is about as honest as Tequila Works’ claiming that they are using it to preserve the experience. That is to say, neither are telling the truth. Those people just want to pirate the game, while the developer just wants their game to not be pirated.

    • Being fair, how many people pan games because of launch issues? Pirate games don’t get patches, so I can understand the reasoning from that perspective.

      Personally though, I’ve never had an issue with Denuvo, either from performance, or it stopping me from playing the game, so it seems like overhyped bullshit to me,

  • Seems like a fair amount of trouble for the inevitable, maybe they just wanted to say they at least tried to stop people from pirating the game?…

    • Everyone in the DRM biz knows that cracking is inevitable, but that doesn’t seem to bother any of them at all if it’s 3-6 months down the track. Publishers are mostly concerned about the first couple weeks, maybe months, of launch – that’s where all the sales are.

      Some outliers have particularly strong sales tails thanks to word of mouth or getting picked up by a YouTuber, but most publishers focus all their efforts on their launch month.

      They know full well they’ll never stop the determined cheapskates who are determined to avoid paying no matter what, but that’s not who they’re targeting.

      If you can make piracy a pain in the ass for that month while hype is strong, publishers reckon that the lazier/more hyped pirates will relent and simply buy for the instant gratification instead of waiting until a crack lands.

      It’s why you see various titles quietly disabling of Denuvo after a year or so: it’s served its purpose.

  • Denuvo is not DRM, it is anti tamper software.“Anti-tamper software” sounds an awful lot like the management of one’s rights in a digital product.

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