Denuvo Claims Its DRM Doesn't Hurt Game Performance And Aims To Prove It
Today's AAA video games can cost hundreds of millions to produce over the course of years, so it's no surprise many publishers use anti-piracy tools to protect their games. Denuvo is one of the most effective, and therefore the most well-known of these DRM systems which has drawn the ire of many. Gamers claim Denuvo has a demonstrably negative impact on game performance, but DRM developer Irdeto says it's not the bad guy, and it has some ideas on how to prove it.
Irdeto Chief Operating Officer Steeve Huin recently talked to Ars Technica to make its case. Huin claims that Denovo fills a necessary role in gaming, ensuring that publishers get the revenue they need to invest in future games. The problem with most DRM is that it doesn't work very well. Pirates will find the cracks, but regular people suffer through annoying verification schemes that can break games and lower performance. The latter is a major accusation against Denuvo, but Huin naturally disputes this.
According to Huin, Denuvo has no impact on game performance. Huin says this is thanks to the way Denuvo works, but he doesn't elaborate. Denuvo has become popular with publishers because it's extremely difficult to crack, and part of that is "security through obscurity." The fewer details Irdeto provides about Denuvo, the harder they believe it will be to crack. And indeed, cracks for Denuvo games are rare (unless a publisher accidentally cracks it). Only about half of all Denovo games have had their protection cracked, and it sometimes takes months. The sole piracy group currently producing Denuvo cracks, Empress, is known for trolling, harassment, and demanding money from the community.
It's hard to know how much impact Denuvo has on games because of the vagueness, but Irdeto has a solution. It's planning to work with publishers to provide reviewers with custom versions of Denuvo-protected titles without the anti-tampering technology. This would allow a direct comparison, which Huin believes will show that Denuvo doesn't tank your frame rates. He claims that many publishers remove Denuvo once games have been on the market for a bit, and the de-Denovo'd versions are sometimes anecdotally faster. However, Huin notes that games get patches and improvements over time, and those who believe Denovo harms performance may simply be noticing the improvement from game patches when they test the non-DRM release.
This program will get underway in the coming months, at which time Irdeto hopes gamers will stop seeing Denuvo as a barrier to enjoying games. Although, we would advise Huin not to hold his breath on that count. Sometimes, people just want free stuff, whether they are entitled to it or not.