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Saturday, May 26 2018 @ 05:56 AM -08

Denuvo's troubles escalate

I'm almost starting to feel sorry for the folks who make Denuvo, the widely-despised DRM (copy protection) software.

RiME developer Tequila Works said they wanted DRM because if the game was cracked it could mess up the experience, but they also said if the game was cracked they would release a version without Denuvo DRM. The game was almost immediately cracked, and Tequila Works now says they will make good on their promise, but also that the DRM was never their idea anyway.

The person largely responsible for cracking RiME described the excessive number of calls being made to the Denuvo protection just in the game's startup and loading screens. He speculates that complaints about the game's performance by paying customers were almost certainly related to these ramped up -- and, ultimately, fruitless -- efforts to prevent the game from being cracked.

Meanwhile, Denuvo itself was recently accused of using unlicensed software. In the world of DRM, this is known as 'stealing'. Denuvo's DRM uses code supposedly licensed from a company called VMProtect. But Denuvo's license was not sufficient for their use, and VMProtect went public. Denuvo must have had a little chat with VMProtect, because now the latter is saying "DENUVO GmbH had the right to use our software in the past and has the right to use it currently as well as in the future." Which is amusing, in that it allows for Denuvo having been improperly licensed for some amount of time in the past.

And finally, a hacking group known as 'SteamPunks' created a key generator that could potentially allow for very straightforward workarounds for any game protected by Denuvo. If it turns out to work as claimed, this is likely to put the final nail in Denuvo's coffin.