Denuvo Returns To Block Some Nintedo Switch Games From PC Emulation
from the it's-baaaack dept
Denuvo is back! While the company only got a single mention in 8 months thus far in 2022, the once-vaunted antipiracy DRM company made quite the splash in the years prior. If you don’t want to go through tens and tens of posts about Denuvo, I can give you a quick breakdown. Denuvo DRM was once touted as a tool that would bring about “the end of video game piracy,” which then was defeated by cracking groups on the order of months, then weeks, then days, then hours. Publishers began stripping the DRM out of games post release once it had been cracked and the company announced it would be pivoting to anti-cheat technology for online games. Very little noise has been made by or about the company since.
But it’s baaaaack! And it’s back in the dumbest possible form, too, announcing recently that it had partnered with several game publishers to protect Nintendo Switch games from PC emulators.
Denuvo, the company best known for its heavily-criticized PC gaming DRM technology, has set its sights on a new scourge: Nintendo Switch piracy. The software maker announced during GamesCom 2022 on Wednesday that it will begin selling a new product called Nintendo Switch Emulator Protection to prevent Switch games from being pirated on PC.
It doesn’t appear to be partnering with Nintendo on the initiative, which instead seems aimed mostly at third-party publishers of multiplatform games. “As with all other Denuvo solutions, the technology integrates seamlessly into the build toolchain with no impact on the gaming experience. It then allows for the insertion of checks into the code, which blocks gameplay on emulators,” the company wrote in a press release. In the past, however, Denuvo’s “checks” have been accused of making some games run worse.
Yes it certainly has. And Denuvo later confirmed that it was working with publishers and not Nintendo directly, which was a big surprising if only due to Nintendo’s longstanding war against emulation websites.
So how much of a problem is Switch emulation? A huge problem… if you think that a group of mostly hobbyists who have legally purchased Switch games are the enemy. The average gamer isn’t going to bother trying to figure out how to configure a Switch emulator on the kind of PC needed to run it to get around buying a console. The average gamer is also not doing all of that and pirating the Switch game/ROM to avoid paying for anything. Some will, but not the majority.
Or, as Denuvo puts it, yes they will and all this hobbyist talk is just an excuse for piracy.
As you know, dumping your bought game for backup purposes is a long-standing argument from pirates that is simply used to justify piracy. The majority of players use emulators with ROMs from pirate sources and are not self-dumped. And if they dump it themselves, they will require a jailbroken console to do that.
Citation needed, obviously. Also, I’d argue that Denuvo is working with game publishers to prevent customers from taking actions with their games that are arguably legal. Which seems pretty shitty and anti-consumer.
I’ll also note that, given the impressive rate and speed of failure by Denuvo in the past, we can probably start a timer to see just how long the company’s anti-emulation DRM lasts before being defeated by cracking groups yet again.