Multiple Titles Using Denuvo Cracked On Release Day As Other Titles Planning To Use It Bail On It Completely

from the don't-denuvo dept

If you’ve followed our series of posts about Denuvo, the DRM once claimed to be the end of video game piracy, you may have thought we had reached the end of its saga a couple of weeks ago when Denuvo-“protected” title Total War: Warhammer 2 was cracked and defeated within a day of its release. After all, once a game has been cracked in a time increment that can be measured in hours, you likely thought that was the finish line of Denuvo’s lifespan.

You were wrong. In the past week or so, multiple games that used Denuvo have been cracked on the same day as their release, with most of them being AAA titles from big publishers.

This week’s release of South Park: The Fractured but Whole is the latest to see its protections broken less than 24 hours after its release, but it’s not alone. Middle Earth: Shadow of War was broken within a day last week, and last month saw cracks for Total War: Warhammer 2 and FIFA 18the very same day as their public release.

Those nearly instant Denuvo cracks follow summer releases like Sonic Mania, Tekken 7, and Prey, all of which saw DRM protection cracked within four to nine days of release. But even that small difference in the “uncracked” protection window can be important for game publishers, who usually see a large proportion of their legitimate sales in those first few days of availability.

With that window shrunk down to roughly zero days of protection for what is now multiple games coming out in a similar time period, it sure seems like the cracking groups have been able to replicate their successes in cracking this DRM with enough speed to make it wholly irrelevant. One imagines the folks behind Denuvo are at this point quite worried. And they should be, because even games that used Denuvo in their early-release versions are beginning to just drop it from their games as useless.

Then there’s The Evil Within 2, which reportedly used Denuvo in prerelease review copies but then launched without that protection last week, effectively ceding the game to immediate potential piracy.

Now, the Ars post goes on to state that there have been rumors of a 5th release of Denuvo, with an update that the company hopes will once again render the DRM software something other than completely obsolete. But with publishers now dropping the software from their releases, even when they had fully planned on using Denuvo from the pre-release stage, you have to wonder just how much confidence any game publisher is going to have in release number 5.

Given the precipitous fall Denuvo has had over its first four releases, any confidence on display by the publishers or Denuvo itself would certainly raise my eyebrows.

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Comments on “Multiple Titles Using Denuvo Cracked On Release Day As Other Titles Planning To Use It Bail On It Completely”

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22 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

"... that burned down, fell over THEN sank into the swamp."

Now, the Ars post goes on to state that there have been rumors of a 5th release of Denuvo, with an update that the company hopes will once again render the DRM software something other than completely obsolete.

At most a new version will reset the clock even as it provides more incentive for cracking groups to see who can get Devuno’s ‘latest and greatest’ take on DRM cracked within a week/day/hours.

Companies can keep throwing money down the drain on a system that will be cracked in time(again), or they can work on other methods to address why some people engage in copyright infringement and try to move as many people as they can from that group to the ‘paying customer’ category.

ryuugami says:

Then there’s The Evil Within 2, which reportedly used Denuvo in prerelease review copies but then launched without that protection last week, effectively ceding the game to immediate potential piracy.

"Ceding"? The entire point is that it would’ve been immediately pirated regardless of Denuvo’s presence! In other news, I’ve ceded my place as the Emperor of the Universe.

even games that used Denuvo in their early-release versions are beginning to just drop it from their games as useless.

And here are pirates, as usual, helping the developers to get more paying customers by freely providing try-before-buy copies and reducing development costs by removing the DRM licensing requirement 😀

jameshogg (profile) says:

I wonder… if a Computer Science student at university was ever given an exam on encryption for DRM uses, how that exam would go? Perhaps something like this:

“Alice wishes to send a message to Bob without Eve being able to intercept and read the message. Please write an algorithm that allows Bob to read the message whilst preventing Bob from reading the message.”

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Cory Doctorow explained it back in 2004 in a talk to the Microsoft Research group:

Cryptography – secret writing – is the practice of keeping secrets. It involves three parties: a sender, a receiver and an attacker […]. We usually call these people Alice, Bob and Carol. [A few explanations of cipher, ciphertext and key] In DRM, the attacker is also the recipient. It’s not Alice and Bob and Carol, it’s just Alice and Bob. So Alice has to provide Bob – the attacker – with the key, the cipher and the ciphertext. Hilarity ensues.

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