Denuvo, are we putting the keys to PC gaming in the hands of an unknown third party?

Jun 29, 2008
10,349
0
0
#1
Something I've been thinking about since I read the Q&A Creative Assembly posted about the useage of Denuvo in Total War: Warhammer.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/364360/discussions/1/357286663671555736/?ctp=2

As they say, the game will authenticate against Denuvo and what I from that info assume are their servers, at installation. Your access to your purchased game is restriced to not only the retailer (Steam) approving your access, but now also Denuvo. And we know some games makes additional regular checks to their servers.

When this works, it will be an invisible process for the user, and they don't have any unreasonable limitations for how often you can authenticate new installations.

But, the more games that start using Denuvo the more we will grant the right to decide whether or not we will be able to use our purchased product. Some might say that this no different to what Steam and Valve does, but it's one thing that the ones you buy from might have this right, and another thing to suddenly involve one more party, that we really don't know that much about.

Are we all really ok with this? Are we ok with giving the Denuvo group this authority?

When it works, it works, and it will probably not effect any users so that we notice it, but can we trust this to continue to work?
What if old versions of Denuvo suddenly doesn't work with new OS versions?
What if they are forced out of business?
What if the terms of useage changes?
Can we end up with a situation like with GfWL, but with games that can't be cracked and patched?
Do we know what information about us that are sent to them?

I know that a lot of posters will just compare this to Steam and say it's just the same, so what's the problem, but I feel that that's just a too easy way to view this situation.

It suprises me a bit that sites like RPS and Kotaku seemingly have no interest in even discussing this subject.
 
Jan 30, 2015
5,559
1
0
#2
Yes we are.

Does this mean that no modding of any kind is allowed in Total War: Warhammer?

In any number of doomsday scenarios, many publishers/devs will remove Denuvo from their games. But it's unlikely all will.
 
Jun 7, 2013
20,288
0
0
#5
Yes we are.

Does this mean that no modding of any kind is allowed in Total War: Warhammer?

In any number of doomsday scenarios, many publishers/devs will remove Denuvo from their games. But it's unlikely all will.
Warhammer is launching with Workshop support and modding tools, and will be launching with a few mods, similar to XCOM 2.
 
Oct 28, 2014
3,887
0
0
#6
It's a one time check not unlike the one Steam DRM is using. So you should really be more consistent and ask whether any DRM is okay or not, no matter how intrusive or effective. Which is an important discussion to have.

As an aside: What is Denuvo checking on their servers? Sounds like they would need something like an account and licensing system. which they are saying they don't have.
 
Jun 29, 2008
10,349
0
0
#8
It's a one time check not unlike the one Steam DRM is using. So you should really be more consistent and ask whether any DRM is okay or not, no matter how intrusive or effective. Which is an important discussion to have.
I dont agree with the idea that if I accept one server depency then I should accept any number of them in my purchases.
 
Oct 27, 2015
1,694
2
0
#9
Yes, and I really don't like it.
Steam as a form of DRM is fairly un-intrusive and functional. Stacking more DRM on top of that achieves nothing except adding new dependencies that are of no benefit to anyone except the company making Denuvo.
 
Nov 1, 2012
1,673
0
0
#10
If you are uncertain about whats going to happen to games if steam dissapears then this is just another layer of trouble to preserve games.

First poster saying that devs will remove Denuvo if its needed is pure rubbish. No one is going to remove anything without agreement from corporate (which they wont get if the company does not exist anymore) and no one is going to remove anything if they dont have source code and they paid to do so.

Are we ok with Denuvo? No we're certainly not, but with the piracy levels that we have on PC we got this.

Then again we have people like Gaben or GOG who think piracy is bad customer support and we got the EA's, Bethesdas and Ubisofts who will put any and all efforts to avoid seeing the ever increasing piracy numbers no matter the down side.
 
Mar 15, 2012
2,762
0
445
#11
It's a one time check not unlike the one Steam DRM is using. So you should really be more consistent and ask whether any DRM is okay or not, no matter how intrusive or effective. Which is an important discussion to have.

As an aside: What is Denuvo checking on their servers? Sounds like they would need something like an account and licensing system. which they are saying they don't have.
not really one time check (also it might even have some time expiration date as when I was on sailing trip for 3 weeks all the denuvo games installed got unplayable after at around the end of 2nd week) ,

As for what they check ... in case of BAK it needs to reauthentificate with Denuvo every GPU driver update ... couple times even after i connected second screen => i guess there is some "code" which allows yoiu to play the game depending on some HW checks)

In any number of doomsday scenarios, many publishers/devs will remove Denuvo from their games. But it's unlikely all will.
Well historically it rarelly happened ... only iirc in case of Ubi Online-only DRM which had pretty bad rep and around the half of the GfWL games got it patched out.
Couple times Starforce got patched out officially to allow play the games on modern system (i even remember some oficial ubi update removing the DRM by using crack from the pirates).

Denuvo is company created from management buyout of Sony DADC aka people behind Securom (rootkit scandal) ... and not a single game which had securom got it patched out and most of the securom games has problems running on Win10 because of that ...
 
Nov 11, 2015
93
0
0
#17
Isn't it kinda like 3DSecure and credit cards over here in Europe?
Not trying to get people paranoid on 3DSecure, but just to say that something else like this exists in a place with much deeper levels of risk.

Plus, if Denuvo would go bad in a way or another, don't devs/publishers have a killswitch that they can deploy via Steam?
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#20
Steam itself has no one-time authentication process. Virtually all of the games on Steam you can install and then immediately play in Offline Mode, with Denuvo-protected titles being the most obvious exception.
The downloading itself acts as one time authentication process though, doesn't it? I don't think you can buy retail version of Steamworks game, install it from CD and then play it through Steam without it going online at least once.
 
Aug 20, 2015
9,534
335
305
#21
It is pretty ridiculous to have multiple layers of DRM.

I don't know if it's because executives at larger publishers don't recognise the reality of modern PC gaming and are still locked in a 2001 mindset (and if they are, its semi-understandable given large portions of GAF who are supposedly clued in gamers are also in that mindset), Steam as DRM is relatively unintrusive and offsets its negatives with positives for the consumer, and as such isn't perceived to be a 'real' DRM because there's no end user level buttfuckery going on (like a placebo effect in reverse, where a medicince can't be any good if it isn't foul tasting) or if the Denuvo salespeople have some extremely convincing patter to convince publishers to give them money.
 
Jan 23, 2011
18,402
0
0
#23
People should read about what happened with just cause 3 modding thanks to denuvo:


It's two fold:

Avalanche released a patch that broke all the mods made up to that point: Since the game uses denuvo you can't just revert to an older patch version once you've updated. Most of the mod community had already moved on by then so they will never update the mods to work on the new patch.

From the jc3 mods website:
We can proudly say that, due to the fact that Just Cause 2 only received one small update, our entire library of 1000+ mods still works to this day on any version of the game, cracked or legit, some even working on modified consoles. With Just Cause 3, however, after roughly three months most of our library has been rendered non-functional as a result of a large patch, a patch that also appears to have hid vital data that previously assisted with mod creation.
So the developer cockblocked modding (developers being cunts, news at 11) and since denuvo makes you their bitch there is nothing you can do about it.


After the immensely popular jc2 multiplayer mod, modders have been working on a jc3 mp mod as well, but have expressed their frustration at denuvo making it hard for them to " analyze and reverse-engineer the game"


I'll never support games that use denuvo. Anything that gets in the way of modding is cancer.
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#24
It is pretty ridiculous to have multiple layers of DRM.

I don't know if it's because executives at larger publishers don't recognise the reality of modern PC gaming and are still locked in a 2001 mindset (and if they are, its semi-understandable given large portions of GAF who are supposedly clued in gamers are also in that mindset), Steam as DRM is relatively unintrusive and offsets its negatives with positives for the consumer, and as such isn't perceived to be a 'real' DRM because there's no end user level buttfuckery going on (like a placebo effect in reverse, where a medicince can't be any good if it isn't foul tasting) or if the Denuvo salespeople have some extremely convincing patter to convince publishers to give them money.
Denuvo has proven incredibly hard to crack. A lot of games using it still don't have craked versions, despite being on the market for many months.
Once it starts to get cracked quickly you can expect the publishers to start dropping it.

Personally I wish devs would just issue patches that remove DRM a year or two after game launches. It wouldn't be perfect, but it seems like a reasonable compromise.
 
Oct 27, 2015
1,694
2
0
#25
Isn't it kinda like 3DSecure and credit cards over here in Europe?
Not trying to get people paranoid on 3DSecure, but just to say that something else like this exists in a place with much deeper levels of risk.

Plus, if Denuvo would go bad in a way or another, don't devs/publishers have a killswitch that they can deploy via Steam?
If the dev or publisher dissolves, it's possible for the game to never be patched.
If both the dev and publisher are still around, there could be tons of internal issues that prevent it being patched out. For example; some higher-up has a grudge against someone else and decides to not approve such a patch merely to spite them. Yes, people really are like that, things like that really did happen.

Crap like that has already happened with the shutdown of GFWL, while many games were saved from it, many more will remain unpatched.
 
Sep 2, 2011
15,640
0
0
#26
It is pretty ridiculous to have multiple layers of DRM.

I don't know if it's because executives at larger publishers don't recognise the reality of modern PC gaming and are still locked in a 2001 mindset (and if they are, its semi-understandable given large portions of GAF who are supposedly clued in gamers are also in that mindset), Steam as DRM is relatively unintrusive and offsets its negatives with positives for the consumer, and as such isn't perceived to be a 'real' DRM because there's no end user level buttfuckery going on (like a placebo effect in reverse, where a medicince can't be any good if it isn't foul tasting) or if the Denuvo salespeople have some extremely convincing patter to convince publishers to give them money.
Denuvo has nothing to do with preventing piracy, least not in the long term.

It's just a precursor to GaaS and preventing mods undermining the introduction of F2p economics to full priced titles.

People should read about what happened with just cause 3 modding thanks to denuvo:


It's two fold:

Avalanche released a patch that broke all the mods made up to that point: Since the game uses denuvo you can't just revert to an older patch version once you've updated. Most of the mod community had already moved on by then so they will never update the mods to work on the new patch.

After the immensely popular jc2 multiplayer mod, modders have been working on a jc3 mp mod as well, but have expressed their frustration at denuvo making it hard for them to " analyze and reverse-engineer the game"


I'll never support games that use denuvo. Anything that gets in the way of modding is cancer.

This is a perfect example.


I rather have this than some always online crap.
In practise, with many games, there is not much difference between this and always online.
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#27
I'll never support games that use denuvo. Anything that gets in the way of modding is cancer.
Warhammer; TW supports mods though and with editors coming it will have bigger support than recent couple entries to the series. Which to me suggests you can easily implement modding while having Denuvo, it's just Avalanche/SquareEnix that didn't give a damn.
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
73,803
6
890
Western Australia
#30
Why? I haven't encountered any problems with my Steam version.

I mean, no DRM would be better of course but is there some specific issue?
The Steam version is also DRM-free, actually, which I honestly believed to be an oversight at first as the original and 2 use CEG ("Steam DRM"). Everyone gets a DRM-free Geralt!

Do we have a list of games supporting Denuvo? I'd like to avoid them if possible.
There's a list on Wikipedia.
 
Mar 17, 2010
1,015
0
0
California
#31
Denuvo is not a DRM. It just protects the DRM that the developer chooses. It does not call back home. It has no server that it checks in with and no performance hits as far as people can tell.
 
#32
Isn't it kinda like 3DSecure and credit cards over here in Europe?
Not trying to get people paranoid on 3DSecure, but just to say that something else like this exists in a place with much deeper levels of risk.
No, the secure code can be easily bypassed by the Payment Service Provider in the event of it not being available, and then the subsequent missing flags ignored by the banks. (Work for a PSP).
 

Gamezone

Gold Member
Nov 2, 2014
6,892
524
550
32
Norway
#33
Denuvo has nothing to do with preventing piracy, least not in the long term.

It's just a precursor to GaaS and preventing mods undermining the introduction of F2p economics to full priced titles.




This is a perfect example.




In practise, with many games, there is not much difference between this and always online.
Other than the fact that I can play offline?
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#35
Denuvo is not a DRM. It just protects the DRM that the developer chooses. It does not call back home. It has no server that it checks in with and no performance hits as far as people can tell.
And this. Denuvo just protect Steam's own DRM from being bypassed.
 
Aug 20, 2015
9,534
335
305
#36
Denuvo has proven incredibly hard to crack. A lot of games using it still don't have craked versions, despite being on the market for many months.
Sure, because Steam being popular and Steam DRM working means the majority of games don't have 0-day releases anymore (0 day being warez version available before the games available to the public to actually buy, which understandably was hugely damaging for sales) and so that's no longer "the most important piracy" for publishers to worry about.

As I understand it, pirate steam games involve running a fake 'pirate steam' which obviously locks you out of all of the benefits real steam provides you, and as such falls under the usage cases of things like hacked PS3s and 360s which publishers didn't bother trying to do anything about.

Denuvo has nothing to do with preventing piracy, least not in the long term.

It's just a precursor to GaaS and preventing mods undermining the introduction of F2p economics to full priced titles.
Ehhhhhh... famous quote about stupidity and malice.
 
Mar 15, 2012
2,762
0
445
#37
People should read about what happened with just cause 3 modding thanks to denuvo:


It's two fold:

Avalanche released a patch that broke all the mods made up to that point: Since the game uses denuvo you can't just revert to an older patch version once you've updated. Most of the mod community had already moved on by then so they will never update the mods to work on the new patch.

From the jc3 mods website:

So the developer cockblocked modding (developers being cunts, news at 11) and since denuvo makes you their bitch there is nothing you can do about it.


After the immensely popular jc2 multiplayer mod, modders have been working on a jc3 mp mod as well, but have expressed their frustration at denuvo making it hard for them to " analyze and reverse-engineer the game"


I'll never support games that use denuvo. Anything that gets in the way of modding is cancer.
That sounds horrible ... i guess you can even see that in Doom ... previous games has huge modding scene , but this one got only quite limited SnapMap tool and thats all ... no bigger scripted mods , just maps the tool allows

Wait does this make it online only?
From what i experience i would call it semi-online .... it surely doesnt work offline forever as even simple windows update or connecting of second screen can trigger the need for reauthentification ... it even triggered by some time in offline (i guess some expiration date on licence file or something liked) but who knows in my case it was always kinda random , even with weird errors needing to turn off firewall to be able authentificate FC:primal
 
Jan 23, 2011
18,402
0
0
#38
Warhammer; TW supports mods though and with editors coming it will have bigger support than recent couple entries to the series. Which to me suggests you can easily implement modding while having Denuvo, it's just Avalanche/SquareEnix that didn't give a damn.
That is the whole point. You don't need the blessing of the developers and publishers to mod your games normally.

Denuvo makes it so that they can make life very hard if not impossible for modders if they want to.
Avalanche never cared about modders for just cause 2 either, yet that game had a whole bunch of awesome mods (multitether, superman and ofc the multiplayer mod).


With the way rockstar have treated modding for gta5 (trying and failing to break it with every patch,and at least you can always stay on an older patch version if they break something) , you can count on the end of modding for gta6 if that uses denuvo.


Yet people keep supporting it anyhow.

Ehhhhhh... famous quote about stupidity and malice.
Multibillion dollar companies are not stupid.
It annoys me every time I see someone try to dismiss yet another anti consumer move as 'oh they're just being silly goofballs tripping over the furniture and unintenionally breaking things'
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
73,803
6
890
Western Australia
#39
The downloading itself acts as one time authentication process though, doesn't it? I don't think you can buy retail version of Steamworks game, install it from CD and then play it through Steam without it going online at least once.
Sure, but context is key: the claim I responded to was that Denuvo's runtime-level authentication check is virtually identical to Steam's, which is not the case as, to reiterate, Steam requires no such verification.
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#40
As I understand it, pirate steam games involve running a fake 'pirate steam' which obviously locks you out of all of the benefits real steam provides you, and as such falls under the usage cases of things like hacked PS3s and 360s which publishers didn't bother trying to do anything about.
Umm..I don't think so. I think there were regular cracked games that used Steam DRM. You just downloaded them, applied crack to exe and that was it. You didn't have to run any fake steam client. And most pirates don't give a damn about "benefits real steam provides", like achievements and cards.
 
Mar 17, 2010
1,015
0
0
California
#41
Sure, but context is key: the claim I responded to was that Denuvo's runtime-level authentication check is virtually identical to Steam's, which is not the case as, to reiterate, Steam requires no such verification.
This is not true at all. Denuvo has no online check. It's just protecting Steam's online check OR whatever DRM check the developer/publisher decided to use.
 
Aug 2, 2015
4,768
407
335
#42
Sure, but context is key: the claim I responded to was that Denuvo's runtime-level authentication check is virtually identical to Steam's, which is not the case as, to reiterate, Steam requires no such verification.
AFAIR Steam does require such verification if devs want to. That's how all Total War games acted since Empire.
 
Aug 20, 2015
9,534
335
305
#43
Multibillion dollar companies are not stupid.
Multibillion dollar companies are exactly as stupid, petty, vindictive, short-sighted, prejudiced and greedy as the people running them are.

e:
Umm..I don't think so. I think there were regular cracked games that used Steam DRM. You just downloaded them, applied crack to exe and that was it. You didn't have to run any fake steam client. And most pirates don't give a damn about "benefits real steam provides", like achievements and cards.
Those would be games not using Steam DRM then - again, likely for their own political reasons.
Companies should care about the benefits that Steam provides, because the benefits that Steam provides are the reasons customers choose Steam over alternative services where given the free choice, and most steam customers would not 'opt out' of those services for free games
 
Mar 15, 2012
2,762
0
445
#44
AFAIR Steam does require such verification if devs want to. That's how all Total War games acted since Empire.
thats CEG aka Valve's anti-tamper system if we use Denuvo's marketing speach

Steam has various levels of copy protection .. some games has nothing and can run even without steam, some has just simple tie to steamworks and some has various levels of CEG (the hardest one was in Attila and uses some HWid checks similarly to Denuvo's anti-tamper)
 
Jun 29, 2008
10,349
0
0
#45
Denuvo is not a DRM. It just protects the DRM that the developer chooses. It does not call back home. It has no server that it checks in with and no performance hits as far as people can tell.
Where do I find confirmation about that it does not call home? That contradicts what Creative Assembly says about their Denuvo implementation.
 
Dec 6, 2008
245
0
0
#47
This is not true at all. Denuvo has no online check. It's just protecting Steam's online check OR whatever DRM check the developer/publisher decided to use.
I'm fairly confident in the past that Denuvo has been seen to have a "phone home" check, and the place it phones is definitely not Steam. I forget the exact game in question, though I believe it was either Tomb Raider or Hitman. Whichever game it was, it would fit with people in this thread noting that extended periods in offline status will prevent game launch for Denuvo titles whereas unprotected Steam ones do not experience the same.
 
Mar 22, 2007
5,431
1
0
Milan
#48
warhammer going denuvo then?
will skip it..
i love creative assembly and i love warhammer, but i frankly am tired of having to give up more and more..
i skipped metal gear, anno, rise of the tomb rider, doom and i will most likely skip warhammer as well..
sorry i pay for products, i don't mind steam or origin, or uplay as drm, but drm on TOP of another drm, this is really too much for my stomach :)
Hopefully game publisher will change their way, if not, i'll simply buy stuff that i really want on consoles (like metal gear, tomb rider and batman) and abandon pc gaming for games where obstrusive drm is included...
It happens to me that every now and then i don't have access to connection on my private notebook (e.g when I'm doing some travelling abroad for 5-15 days for work), and in those instances I've seen some denuvo titles *not* working..
I've payed for the game.. you've authenticated me... Stop bothering me, thanks...
 
Nov 6, 2014
1,150
0
0
#50
Denuvo is not a DRM. It just protects the DRM that the developer chooses. It does not call back home. It has no server that it checks in with and no performance hits as far as people can tell.
But people can't tell cause there's no game where you can test the performance with and without Denuvo. It could have no performance hit or not, that's not something we can say for sure.
As for the calling back home a lot of Denuvo protected games already do that as far as I know. You can prove me wrong with facts if you have any?