DRM Strikes Again: Sonic Forces Just Plain Broken Thanks To Denuvo

from the but-not-for-pirates dept

You may recall that Sega released its title Sonic Mania earlier this year, without bothering to inform anyone that the game came laden with Denuvo DRM and an always-online requirement. While Sega eventually patched the always-online requirement out, Denuvo remained, as did a hefty number of viciously negative Steam reviews from gamers that couldn't play the game as they intended or who were simply pissed off that DRM like Denuvo was included without mention to the public.

Well, Sega just released another game, Sonic Forces, and once again the complaints are rolling in. This time, however, gamers are blaming Denuvo for flat out breaking the game completely.

Sonic Forces has already had a bit of an uphill battle to face releasing after Sonic Mania, but it looks like PC users are going to have an even rougher time of it. Thanks to the magic of Denuvo DRM, most users can't even progress past the second level in the game. Upon reaching the first mission with your custom avatar, the game promptly crashes with little explanation. Sega has been diligent in quickly issuing a patch, at least.

So Sega was again quick to issue a patch, but the company should have learned by now that you cannot patch a first impression with your customers. It's important to note that Sonic Forces is a console port to PC, and it is having a myriad of other problems that customers are complaining about, but the reviews for the game are still being weighed down by customers who couldn't play past the second level.

The Destructoid post seems to think this should have been hashed out during testing.

I know with a lot of PC ports, issues can come down to user hardware configurations. It can be hard to determine whether a person experiencing slowdown or crashes is having a legitimate problem or something on their end. An issue like crashes based on Denuvo, though, is something that should have been noticeable to anyone in the QA department.

The easier strategy would be to simply not have any crashes due to Denuvo by not using it at all. After all, it's not like this particular DRM is in any way useful, anyway.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2017 @ 4:20pm

    What a coincidence. I named my custom character "Denuvo" and he couldn't get past the second level either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vapewhore, 10 Nov 2017 @ 5:12pm

    Digital Rape Mechanism

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 10 Nov 2017 @ 6:24pm

    Thanks to the magic of Denuvo DRM, most users can't even progress past the second level in the game.

    Call it the Jeb! bug. Those who paid for him didn't get past the second primary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 10 Nov 2017 @ 7:04pm

    While Sega patched out the always-online and kept the DRM, I found out (while playing) that WB did the opposite for Arkham Asylum - they removed the DRM, but kept the always-online check that will still kick you out (of a singleplayer game) if it decides to disconnect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 10 Nov 2017 @ 7:11pm

    *pulls out the EULA again*

    http://store.steampowered.com//eula/637100_eula_0

    THE DISCLAIMERS OF LIABILITY CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION APPLY TO ANY DAMAGES OR INJURY CAUSED BY ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE, ERROR, OMISSION, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DEFECT, DELAY IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION, COMPUTER VIRUS, COMMUNICATION LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO, ALTERATION OF, OR USE OF THE PRODUCT, WHETHER FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORTIOUS BEHAVIOR, NEGLIGENCE, OR UNDER ANY OTHER CAUSE OF ACTION. THE USE OF THE PRODUCT OR THE DOWNLOADING OR OTHER ACQUISITION OF ANY MATERIALS THROUGH OR IN CONNECTION WITH PRODUCT IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND WITH YOUR AGREEMENT THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM SUCH ACTIVITIES.

    Section 14 later on does guarantee replacement or repair within 90 days if your copy has a defect or bug of some kind, but aside from that, no culpability, no liability, and especially no refunds.

    Now, the question is, do I really want to contract with a company that says "We'll do whatever we want to your computer and you can't hold us responsible."?

    Is there actually a good, respectable (or at least tolerable) reason for including such 'we won't be liable' clauses in the EULA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ryunosuke (profile), 10 Nov 2017 @ 7:49pm

      Re: *pulls out the EULA again*

      or just don't install the game via steam.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Nov 2017 @ 5:30pm

      Re: no culpability, no liability, and especially no refunds.

      Doesn’t your country have consumer-protection laws?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Daydream, 12 Nov 2017 @ 3:10am

        Re: Re: no culpability, no liability, and especially no refunds.

        Australia? Yes it does. I'm not sure how said laws apply to EULAs, though, or under what circumstances you can get a refund for a game.

        ...Actually, https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/repair-replace-refund
        A major problem is defined as (amongst other definitions) 'a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they'd known about it'.
        So if you bought DLC for the game, and it didn't function, then that would be a major problem and you should be entitled to a refund.
        And it's explicitly against the law to make a 'no refunds' statement, so...I'm not exactly a lawyer, but the Cancellation Rights: Digital Content section might be illegal.

        The EULA needs to be inverted one of these days. Have a consumer send a shrinkwrap agreement to a company offering to buy and play their game subject to so-and-so conditions (which will obviously indemnify the consumer against any and all liability). See how they like it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    discordian_eris (profile), 10 Nov 2017 @ 8:05pm

    Digital Restrictions Management strikes again. Fabulous way to do nothing but piss off your (ex-)customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Nov 2017 @ 4:25am

    Sega went looking for another Sonic boom period—possibly the first in generations—but their rush to shuffle this game out the door instead unleashed chaos. Shame, really; this game could’ve been a blast.

    …maybe they should’ve remade Spinball.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2017 @ 12:28am

    Premature, uh, Acquisition

    If gamers could keep their dicks in their pants and wait for the free, cracked version, this problem would "resolve itself like the dew" pretty quickly. Twelve months of organized, orchestrated NO SALES for anything with craptastic Digital Restrictions Motherfuckery should put the message across, but, well, you know...gamers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2017 @ 6:58pm

      Re: Premature, uh, Acquisition

      I understand your point of view and once shared it, but honestly this DRM stuff has just completely turned me off of PC Games entirely.

      Someone should explain to the game industry that DRM is supposed to make things hard for the pirate, and easy for the paying customer.

      When you make PC gaming less fun, people are just going to move on to some other activity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 13 Nov 2017 @ 5:23am

    Weren't those games already pirated... years ago?

    Given that it's a port of an old game, I'm sure you can already find pirated copies of the original on the Internet.

    So what exactly did Sega think they were going to accomplish with DRM on a game that was already pirated years ago? A pirate can just download a pirate of the original and run it with an emulator. There's no need for a pirate to pirate their new PC port of the game at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chuck, 13 Nov 2017 @ 6:53am

    Ok this is funny

    Hey Tim. Good article, as usual. I don't have any feedback about the DRM itself (I feel like I've posted too much about how f**king dumb DRM is already) but I just had to say...

    Isn't it funny how all the "Tim is trolling for a job at NYT" crowd is nowhere to be seen when your article isn't attacking the alt-right? I find it HILARIOUS that none of them have any issue with your writing as long as you're not insulting their boy Trump.

    I never do either way, but you gotta admit, this is funny. Maybe point them here the next time you run a political article and ask them where the hell they were? :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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