After Backlash, id Is Removing DOOM Eternal’s Denuvo Anti-Cheat

After Backlash, id Is Removing DOOM Eternal’s Denuvo Anti-Cheat
Image: DOOM Eternal

Thanks to the conversation started by Riot’s Valorant, gamers are on high alert when it comes to over-aggressive anti-cheat mechanisms. One of those was recently patched into DOOM Eternal, and following a backlash, the game’s executive producer has announced an about-face.

In a lengthy post Thursday morning on the DOOM sub-reddit, executive producer Marty Stratton wanted to “offer some context” around the game’s direction, and their thoughts on the Denuvo anti-cheat technology which was patched into DOOM Eternal.

“As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater,” Stratton said.

Like Valorant, DOOM Eternal patched in a kernel-level anti-cheat from third-party developers Denuvo. Low-level anti-cheat solutions aren’t new, but what’s caught the ire of the gaming community over recent times is anti-cheat solutions that run when Windows first starts, as opposed to starting when you launch the game. It’s raised obvious questions and concerns, particularly with Valorant running into issues where perfectly normal software, like MSI Afterburner which monitors your PC’s temperatures, would be blocked from running.

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Because of the backlash, id is removing the Denuvo tech in an update that will be “rolled out to players within a week”. Stratton stressed that the Denuvo inclusion was made by id Software and not, as some fans speculated, Bethesda’s call. “I have seen speculation online that Bethesda (our parent company and publisher) is forcing these or other decisions on us, and it’s simply untrue,” Stratton said.

The patch will also revert a change to how DOOM Eternal allocates graphics card memory, which should alleviate some of the recent issues some players had on PC. The patch will also fix crashes related to customisable skins and memory-related issues, which Stratton thanked the community’s help for discovering.

Of course, id’s decision begs the question: what’s DOOM Eternal‘s answer to cheats going forward? Stratton specifically said “kernel-level integrations are typically the most effective in preventing cheating”, but if the company doesn’t feel like they can deploy that, then what is the next best option? DOOM Eternal is set to implement the Dark Souls-esque invasion mode, where players can invade other players’ campaigns. Before that comes out, the game will need a robust anti-cheat solution, and soon.


  • Doesnt help their case that they accidentally leaked a non Denuvo .exe with the release of the game so people could compare the 2.

  • Holy shit, the bigger news here is that the Invasion mode is coming at last!
    This should have been in the game from the start, it’s what I wanted the whole time.
    Imagine going through Eternal for your first time, and having random demons be particularly mischievous.

    I *knew* they’d walk back on the Denuvo after seeing the backlash. I figured waiting it out was the right thing to do.

  • its good they are removing it but it never should have been implemented in the first place, so half a thumbs up i guess? no one buys doom for multiplayer anyway so anti cheat malware is not exactly required for a single player game.

  • Its funny seeing the backlash every time someone implements an anti-cheat system in the game until it gets rolled back, while in the game that I play mostly (REsistance) the players are begging for anti-cheats to deal with the hackers.

    • it’s more that it’s denuvo than anything else. anti-cheat is accepted for games with competetive aspects. Denuvo however is a problem child that bogs down the game performance and may or may not perform other operations of a dubious nature.

      • Its been around for a while, thats for sure, although I’m used to it being used for anti-piracy measures rather than anti-cheat.

  • Kernel level access for anti cheat? yeah nah. That sort of access is restricted for most applications bar drivers and other hardware that needs to interface directly with the OS. A game doesn’t need this level of access. go back to the drawing board. How about you do hit validation server side instead. sure there is a penalty but its much harder to cheat.

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