Denuvo Games Once Again Broken For Paying Customers Thanks To DRM Mishap
from the whoopsie dept
It’s been a while since we’ve mentioned Denuvo, the once-vaunted anti-piracy video game DRM that subsequently became an industry punchline. Once touted as “uncrackable“, Denuvo went from there to becoming indeed crackable, then crackable shortly after release of games, to then being crackable the same day, to then being cracked in some cases hours after a game’s release. As a result, plenty of publishers have taken to patching Denuvo out of their games, while Denuvo did a mini-pivot to create anti-cheat software for online games. While all that was going on, plenty of paying customers of games protected by Denuvo complained about various issues: authentication issues intermittently preventing the customer from playing the game they bought, performance issues that are linked back to how Denuvo runs and behaves, or Denuvo simply breaking games.
In other words, Denuvo is a case study in real world DRM: no real protection from piracy, but plenty of headaches for paying customers. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, well, yeah. But, it’s an ongoing disaster, it appears. A whole bunch of PC video games suddenly became unplayable this past week, such as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The problem seemed to appear after players updated the game, leading some to believe that code may have broken the game. However, as more and more complaints came in, another potential problem was identified. It was so simple as to be almost unthinkable but so devastating that it rendered games completely useless.
Once the same reports of games failing to load came in about several other titles, Twitter lit up about the topic. From there, the internet did its sleuthing thing and the one commonality uncovered was Denuvo DRM software. One Twitter denizen poked around and appears to have figured it out: someone at Denuvo forgot to renew a domain.
“@PlanetZooGame @shadowofwargame your DRM provider has let their domain name lapse, and it’s killed your game startup… along with multiple other games I imagine,” he wrote.
Buckland identified the domain ‘codefusion.technology’ as the culprit and offered a screenshot of its WHOIS records, which clearly shows that the domain expired on September 24, 2021, and had not been renewed. Following the failure to renew, the domain then went into a grace period but when that expired too, it appears to have been removed from DNS records. This meant that the domain would not resolve to an IP address, effectively breaking the system.
Now, that domain has now been renewed, so the problem for those gamers and games is fixed. But that cannot be the end of the story. For starters, TorrentFreak reached out to its regular contacts at Denuvo to get their take on all of this, but got undeliverable bounceback messages. Why that would occur is not currently known, but it’s all just messy. In addition, the lack of communication or accountability from Denuvo or its parent company, Irdeto, is infuriating.
In the meantime, someone has now renewed the codefusion.technology domain, which appears to have solved players’ problems. It’s now set to expire on September 24, 2022, meaning just a single year was added to the bank. Hopefully next year doesn’t bring similar problems.
And by problems we apparently mean paying customers unable to play the games for which they paid, all because someone on Denuvo’s side couldn’t be bothered to keep its own domain up and running.
And that’s the story of DRM. Again, anyone who pirated these games is not having a single problem. Only those that forked over cash to play are impacted. How that isn’t the end of DRM adoption by the gaming companies is completely beyond me.