from the hmmmm dept
One or two instances can be outliers, but any more than that and it's a trend. And there is now indeed a trend among video game companies for removing Denuvo, the DRM once thought to be the industry's final solution to piracy. As the DRM software has indeed been proven crackable, some game makers have begun releasing patches to remove it from their games entirely. Somewhat strangely, Denuvo's removal tends to be absent from the patch notes. Such is the case in the latest example, in which id Software has stripped AAA title Doom of Denuvo.
Theories abound as to what is going on here. There are some who believe these game makers are finally coming around to understanding that DRM is annoying their legitimate customers and no longer stopping piracy. The problem with that theory is that you would think companies like id Software would include the removal of Denuvo in the patch notes if that were the case. It would be a PR boon to be seen as consumer friendly if there were no plans to keep up this annoying DRM arms race any longer.
At the NeoGAF link above, some are suggesting that the new strategy for publishers will be to utilize DRM in the first few months of a game's release and then strip it out once it's been on the market for a while. That way, the companies can combat piracy as best as they can during the critical initial release window and then, I guess, choose to stop annoying their customers months down the road. If this is indeed the strategy, it's a dumb one, as quite a lot of ill will in the public can be generated if/when the DRM breaks the gaming experience for real customers, especially if that happens in that same critical release window. Not to mention that Denuvo in particular cripples the modding community, which often serves as a boon to interest in any particular game.
Still others think that this all has something to do with a money-back guarantee offered by the makers of Denuvo.
There are theories floating around, though. The biggest is a rumor that Denuvo offers developers a money back guarantee if a game is cracked within three months. The (alleged) main stipulation? Developers have to remove the anti-piracy tech first. Given that Inside and Doom have both been cracked, majorly blemishing Denuvo’s vaunted un-crackable reputation, that would certainly explain the removal.
And, if true, it should hopefully dissuade that kind of hubris from developing with other DRM makers in the future.
Which is ultimately the entire point: this is an awful lot of hand-wringing over a technology that has never been proven to work, has been shown time and time again to pain the backsides of legitimate customers, and acts purely as a cost to game developers with no real ROI. Maybe it's time the industry decides it's simply done wasting its own time and money on DRM?