Denuvo Strikes Back: The DRM Has Been Patched And Is Working... For Now

from the drms-race dept

The recent saga of Denuvo DRM has been fairly fast moving as these things go. Once thought to be the DRM unicorn that video game makers had dreamed of for years, the time it took for cracks to be released for Denuvo-protected games shrunk to months, then weeks, and finally days. It seemed for all the world like Denuvo was destined for the grave.

But these things don't always progress in linear fashion. The recently released Bioware title Mass Effect: Andromeda was patched recently for a variety of gameplay functions. Unheralded in the patch notes was the updated version of Denuvo included within it. That updated version appears to be setting back cracking groups, forcing Mass Effect pirates into using the older, pre-patched version of the game.

The CPY collective released a crack for version 1.04 of Mass Effect: Andromeda just ten days after its release, making it the latest in a long string ofgames to see its previously unbreakable Denuvo anti-tamper technology quickly crumble. But after last week's version 1.05 update to the game, Reddit user NTStatus noticed that the game's executable now includes a new reference to an "InjectableGTPSteam.pdb" file.

That same file path can be found in games like Dead Rising 4, 2Dark, and Nier: Automata, recently released titles known to use a revamped version of Denuvo, which launched in February and has yet to be cracked. Games like For Honor and Sniper Elite 4 are now approaching two months on the market with this new and improved Denuvo protection intact, showing that Denuvo's latest volley in the battle against piracy seems to be holding for now.

No sane observer expected the Denuvo folks to simply admit defeat and lay down their arms. It was obvious from the outset that the DRM would be updated in an attempt to stave off the cracking groups that had previously turned the security software into so much Swiss cheese. But it's equally obvious that this is an arms race that will continue on the other side as well, making it ultimately a losing proposition. On a long enough timeline, DRM fails. Always. Even game developers and the DRM makers themselves admit as much, with much of the focus and reasoning for using DRM at all turning on the axis of the pivotal early release sales window for games. The reason why the Denuvo stories from months past were so problematic is that a cracking time of mere days destroys that rationale for using DRM. The updated version restores that rationale... for now.

Meanwhile, it's worth repeating that other game developers are embracing better ways to attract both fans and money, typically in the form of fostering bonding connections with fans that keep them from wanting to play great games for free without compensating the creators. It's not as though examples don't abound of DRM-less games raking in huge amounts of money. They do, which makes one shake their head at the DRM arms race all the more.

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Filed Under: cracks, denuvo, drm, patched, video games


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:41pm

    Ah those delightful double-standards...

    Because gamers aren't the only ones who are stupid and can't control their own impulses.

    And yet I don't seem to recall offhand the last time an article covering the movie studios or one covering the major music labels got the 'Because movie/music fans are idiots' treatment.

    An article about games? Oh yeah, it's practically a given that there will be someone talking about what morons gamers are, yet that same treatment never seems to appear when talking about anything else.

    Talk about the abusive practices of the studios and nary a peep about stupid movie-goers(your comment and the one above it very much being the exception). At most it's stupid people that keep going to the movies.

    Discuss the absurdities and predatory practices of the major labels, and you'll be searching high and low to find a comment bashing those idiot music fans in particular, as clearly it's idiots in general that are the problem.

    Yet when it comes to games the 'people can be stupid' generalities go out the window, and it's those stupid gamers that are at fault and deserve everything that happens to them, because clearly the issue isn't that people can be stupid, it's that gamers are stupid.

    When I start seeing people called idiots and/or stupid simply because they happen to enjoy movies, or books, or music, then I might buy the idea that it's not unfairly labeling an entire group(it will still be stupid mind, but at least it will be consistent stupidity), but as that only seems to crop up when talking about games any such 'Oh you stupid gamers' comment will be seen and treated, by myself and others as a cheap excuse to bash those that enjoy games.


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