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

Pheace

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Jul 18, 2015
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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.

It can't be that bad if it does, MGSV and Mad Max both had stellar performance if I'm not mistaken (only have MGS myself)
 

Maffis

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I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
 

roadrunn3r

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It can't be that bad if it does, MGSV and Mad Max both had stellar performance if I'm not mistaken (only have MGS myself)
Sure but there are other more performance heavy games (JC3) where it could make a difference. We just can't say for now. If anyone knows anything I don't, I'm happy to learn about.
 

SneakyStephan

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Going to stick to the nice open structure of consoles, then?
Fuck this argument.

Reminds me of 'mericun politics: better bend over because the other side is even more evil can't let the other side win.


A lesser of two evils argument is not an argument at all.

I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
Steam games are just a crack away from working.

Remember when GFWL croaked and people had to crack those games to keep playing them.

Suddenly denuvo

you're right in that eventually these DD companies will no longer exist (that includes steam, it's inevitable, just a matter of in 10 years or 20 or whenever) . So it's important that there is no DRM you can't remove.
We've experienced first hand with GFWL how important it is to be able to circumvent DRM.


But in the short term denuvo taking away even more control from pc gamers (with lots of potential to cockblock modding if the developer wants to use it for that) is just a big a problem.


edit: I should clarify: Any drm is bad. People were merely willing to tolerate steamworks drm because in the end consumers still had the power (cracking) and some form of ownership of their software.

Denuvo effectively removes that and turns DD full on into games as a service, the unoficcial means for the consumer to protect themselves are gone.

In hindsight you can see how we gave a finger and are now about to lose an arm. That's how it always goes.
 

LordRaptor

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Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
As I said, as I understand it there are 'global' piracy alternatives to Steam that involve running an 'emulated steam', the downside being you are completely locked out of actual steam by doing so.
If actual steam no longer exists, then that is no longer a downside worth caring about.
 

JaseC

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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.
Once again, Steam itself has no first-run online check. The only games that display these messages:




...are those protected by Denuvo. Additionally, I'm sure you can see that said messages are not being generated by the Steam client but rather the executables of the games.

It's not a CEG thing because of what I just said above. It's not a proprietary thing as the messages are consistent across different games from different developers/publishers. The logical conclusion is that it's a Denuvo thing.

Edit: CA's Denuvo FAQ confirms that Denuvo "validates" PCs upon the first launch and, at least in this case, limits the number of PCs you can install the game to within a given 24-hour period to five. See below.

AFAIR Steam does require such verification if devs want to. That's how all Total War games acted since Empire.
CA's comment regarding "initial online authentication via Steam during installation" refers to, I presume, what you mentioned earlier about having to be online to install a game, not an online check at runtime. I verified this for myself, just now, by installing Empire and running it in Offline Mode without incident immediately after the download completed.
 

dude

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I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
ASIK Steam doesn't require online verification, so it should be relatively easy to deal with the situation of Steam ever falling... Plus, Steam is big enough that I'll know enough people will be in the same boat as me, so the chances of someone figuring it out are higher. Of course I'll always rather buy DRM-Free, but I'm not that worried about Steam. Denuvo on the other hand is a game-by-game basis situation and I have much less confidence every single game will be patched in the future, especially in this age of remastering and re-releasing games every four years.
 

MarionCB

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I'll never buy anything with Denuvo, and I have to agree with the OP's concerns. We don't even know much about what it does and we don't know much about the company that makes it and runs it; they are not the company we buy the games from or otherwise choose to do business with but whether we can run our games depends on them. How responsible are they to us?

I'm anti-DRM in general and Denuvo seems even worse to me.

However, for the question of if "we" will put up with it, well, I think we probably will because most people don't care or couldn't resist getting the latest hot game if they did. Also, you have to constantly research every game you buy to check if it has it because they don't classify it as DRM (even though it is, if only for the authentication alone), so Steam and other stores don't tell you about it upfront.
 

GreenMonkey

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As someone who often plays very old games, I'm against anything that might prevent me from doing so in the future.

I'm old enough to realize 20 years isn't in some infinitely distant future, for this problem to be easily ignored.
Bingo. Try tussling with 10-15 year old DRM now.

Screw DRM and this Denuvo shit is even worse. It's like the new StarForce.

Won't touch a game with it, no matter how much I want it. EA could release Dungeon Keeper 3 with it and I'd tell them to go to hell.

The reason I buy most stuff on consoles these days and have almost abandoned PC gaming except for GOG and very rarely a Steam game if it isn't too much $.


Look at Securom or Safedisc (which are not supported on Windows 10, as they are intrusive and a security risk for no good reason).

That'll be Denuvo on Windows 13 or whatever.

Not buying a product that treats me like a thief. No one should.
 

prudislav

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we don't know much about the company that makes it and runs it; they are not the company we buy the games from or otherwise choose to do business with but whether we can run our games depends on them. How responsible are they to us?
Well we know that Denuvo company was created by management buyout of Sony DADC (aka creators of Securom) and I have quite a problem to trust their marketing speach after the Securom rootkit scandal which pretty much killed the Securom
 

Parham

Banned
I'm very much of the belief that a DRM-free version of every PC game should exist in some capacity. One day, Denuvo's authentication systems will go down and restoring these games to their original state, in the pursuit of consumer rights and preservation, will be a major time and resource sink.
 

synce

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I refuse to buy Denuvo out of principle. Of course that means nothing since the general public has never even heard the name and will continue supporting it
 

Wereroku

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I refuse to buy Denuvo out of principle. Of course that means nothing since the general public has never even heard the name and will continue supporting it
As long as it is quiet and doesn't hurt performance the general public won't give a shit about anything sadly.
 

Exentryk

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I think we need to start making lists of all games that support Denuvo, so we can avoid those games.

This DRM nonsense is one of the reasons I prefer GOG. If a developer releases their game on GOG, I'll happily pay twice that I could be paying on Steam.
 

prudislav

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I think we need to start making lists of all games that support Denuvo, so we can avoid those games.
problem with it is that most of the games hide the existence of Denuvo AT till launch ( exceptions being all EA games and TW:WH)
 

Wulfram

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Fuck this argument.

Reminds me of 'mericun politics: better bend over because the other side is even more evil can't let the other side win.


A lesser of two evils argument is not an argument at all.
OK, if the guy writing that meant he wasn't buying AAA titles at all then my comment was unwarranted. But the way he phrased it implied to me that he was still buying AAA games.

Buying console games because you don't like PC DRM is bizarre. Aside from some of the more screwed up Securom stuff in the past, anyway.

If you're going to choose one of the evils, then you pick the lesser. And some times it does make sense to "vote for the crook, not the fascist".
 
Apr 3, 2007
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Bingo. Try tussling with 10-15 year old DRM now.

Screw DRM and this Denuvo shit is even worse. It's like the new StarForce.

Won't touch a game with it, no matter how much I want it. EA could release Dungeon Keeper 3 with it and I'd tell them to go to hell.

The reason I buy most stuff on consoles these days and have almost abandoned PC gaming except for GOG and very rarely a Steam game if it isn't too much $.


Look at Securom or Safedisc (which are not supported on Windows 10, as they are intrusive and a security risk for no good reason).

That'll be Denuvo on Windows 13 or whatever.

Not buying a product that treats me like a thief. No one should.
Wow, really? Are there any decent places with things to bypass securom? I still wanted to play mass effect but I'm on windows 10 now.
 

Wereroku

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I think we need to start making lists of all games that support Denuvo, so we can avoid those games.

This DRM nonsense is one of the reasons I prefer GOG. If a developer releases their game on GOG, I'll happily pay twice that I could be paying on Steam.
So if Konami released MGSV on steam for 60 with Denuvo you would pay $120 on GOG to get it without DRM? I think you might be on a very short list.
 

Nudull

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I wasn't aware that TW Warhammer had Denuvo. Oh well, so much for having all the Total War games under Steam. :/
 

RionaaM

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I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
I trust Valve much more than I do the Denuvo devs. I don't see how you could equate the two.

I admit to being part of the problem, of course, as I preordered the PC version of MGS5: Phantom Pain even though it had Denuvo.

OK, if the guy writing that meant he wasn't buying AAA titles at all then my comment was unwarranted. But the way he phrased it implied to me that he was still buying AAA games.

Buying console games because you don't like PC DRM is bizarre. Aside from some of the more screwed up Securom stuff in the past, anyway.

If you're going to choose one of the evils, then you pick the lesser. And some times it does make sense to "vote for the crook, not the fascist".
No, it's not bizarre. I don't see any problem with choosing to support closed games on a closed platform rather than closed games on an open platform. The latter can be harmful, while the former is the norm. You can show publishers that you care about playing the game, but won't accept a stripped-down, DRM-infected version on PC.
 

CecilRousso

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I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
People are concerned about those. It's an ever ongoing topic, definitely for XBOX Live and PSN.

For Steam, it's so simple to bypass the DRM that while people are still concerned, it's considered the lesser evil. The DRM is actually so relatively lightweight that some developers, like Bethesda have managed to release their games as DRM free by mistake (Skyrim, later fixed).
 

jmga

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I am not buying any single Denuvo game. Let's hope crackers will break it soon so companies will stop using this shit.
 

MrCunningham

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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.
Yeah, it is not quite on the same level as SecuriROM, but I still find it to be quite annoying.
 

Alucrid

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I understand people fearing they won't be able to play their digital games in the future as who knows what will happen with Denuvo. But I have to ask, why aren't more people afraid of purchasing games for origin, uplay, psn, xbl and steam? Steam might not be here in 20 years for whatever reason. If you're afraid of Denuvo, then I definitely recommend you reconsider buying digital games at all. Denuvo can always be patched out if publishers agrees it, but losing your licenses on Steam if it ever goes down is alot worse.
i view digital purchases as throw aways more or less. i bought tons of stuff on xbox live last gen. i have no 360 one xbox one now, so it's all basically in the void. if i lost it all tomorrow i wouldn't be too troubled since i'm probably never going back to it.
 

_machine

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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.
Wow, way to be a total asshole. Developers are not generally cunts, nor do they intentionally work to support or disable mods, it's usually a side-effect them not doing anything regards mods unofficially so it's not their job to ensure mods work after patching code (which, usually happens to multiplatform).

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).
Did you miss the part where they were publically ecstatic that modders found a way to create a multiplayer and were willing to help them "in any way they can", despite acknowledging that it's very hard for them to do so. As a developer working as a second party developer for a publisher, you can't even begin to understand how hard it is, and legalities behind the process.
 

GavinUK86

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It suprises me a bit that sites like RPS and Kotaku seemingly have no interest in even discussing this subject.
Because it stops piracy! Yay!

I think that's how it goes anyway. A lot of people don't care as long as it stops piracy.

I, for one, hate Denuvo and the impact it's having on games. I agree with you OP. It needs to die but it won't as long as it stays relatively uncrackable.
 

CecilRousso

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Because it stops piracy! Yay!

I think that's how it goes anyway. A lot of people don't care as long as it stops piracy.

I, for one, hate Denuvo and the impact it's having on games. I agree with you OP. It needs to die but it won't as long as it stays relatively uncrackable.
I actually got a simpler wish, and that is that the gaming sites at least acknowledges the issues and discusses them. PC Gamer hade one small article about it some time ago, but it said pretty much nothing and asked no difficult questions.

Considering how much different sites have talked about GfWL and the problem it has caused when it comes to games longevity and ability to stay functional, they need to talk about this also.
 

prudislav

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I actually got a simpler wish, and that is that the gaming sites at least acknowledges the issues and discusses them. PC Gamer hade one small article about it some time ago, but it said pretty much nothing and asked no difficult questions.

Considering how much different sites have talked about GfWL and the problem it has caused when it comes to games longevity and ability to stay functional, they need to talk about this also.
its easy they mostly hide the existence of it and have strong marketing machine...
and without heavy tests and actuall understanding at least partially how it actually works we have nothing to go against that marketing

All the articles I read about it mostly just parroted their marketiíng statements and asked the nonsensical questions
 

Carlius

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its going ot be cracked at some point. I enjoy buying games and will continue to support good games where developers dont give us the shaft cause they think PC piracy is rampant.
 

JaseC

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Yeah, it is not quite on the same level as SecuriROM, but I still find it to be quite annoying.
CA's Denuvo FAQ actually confirms that there's a silent authentication process:

Can you upgrade your PC hardware without any problems?

Yes.
Depending on the upgrade (CPU, mainboard or major OS update), it is likely that Denuvo will need to validate your PC again, which will happen automatically once you start the game. It may also be the case, depending on your upgrade, that Steam might need to validate your PC again anyway. So you would need to be online at that moment.
Regardless, if you upgrade your PC hardware in any manner, we would always recommend you go online anyway and download the latest drivers from your manufacturer’s website in order to ensure the best performance from the game.
There's also this, which would be impossible to enforce if Denuvo weren't "phoning home" to the degree mentioned above:

Does Denuvo limit the max number of times I can install the game on different PCs?

No.
You can install your copy of Total War: WARHAMMER on as many PCs as you like under your Steam account.
The only limit is on the number on PCs you can install on in any 24 hour period. This is limited to 5 PCs.
There might of course be an unusual reason you would want to install the game on more than 5 PCs in a day, but we hope in that case you don’t mind waiting a couple of hours. This is obviously an important measure to help us prevent the spread of a pirated version of the game, so hope you appreciate that with this understanding you help us make more Total War games in the future.
I'll state the obvious and say that "Steam might need to validate your PC again anyway" is referring to Steam Guard, which is an account protection mechanism, not a DRM measure publishers can tether to their apps.
 

hobblygobbly

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My only concern with Denuvo since it's anti-tamper is compatibility of games in the future and discouraged unsupported modding of games. It's not DRM as we usually know it but it has its own caveats.

Compatibility-wise, who knows if a game will work in the future, and it may not be able to be patched/fixed by the community due to anti-tamper.

Modding-wise again, some games support modding through a modding API or similar (typical example being Bethesda), while some games don't and let people tamper and reverse engineer aspects of the game for modding and make their own mod tools. Lots of games are moddable even though there is no official mod support for them by developers. Anti-tamper like Denuvo make this much more difficult.
 

nephilimdj

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Best thing about it Valve could buy Denuvo, but most likely wouldnt purely as if it owned a company in the EU trade zone, it would have to give consumer rights.
 

Lister

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The most hilarious part of this thread is the people claiming that this is why they play games on consoles.

Hilarious. Yes, the closed systems that die and are no longer supported after a period of time... these are the systems where we never have to worry about not being able ot play old games...

The irony is that it's the PC where most of those old console games get played today, in many cases it's the ONLY place to play them.

Look, I'm all for a world where we don't need DRM or Denuvo (which isnt' DRM). But we don't live int hat world. The problem of piracy is significant enough that if we don't have functional DRM systems many games would pass us by. Many games would nto receive the budgets they do for PC development. Like it or not, that is the way fo things.

You cna sit there and blame the companies that invest money into our favorite gaming ecosystem... or you can blame the entitled pirates who think the world owes them their games for free.

Even that doesn't matter, it doesn't change the reality of the situation. And I'm fine with this situation. Denuvo is 100% transparent to me. I've never known that a game uses Denuvo, were it not for NeoGaf or reddit, that's how transparent it is in terms of how I engage with games.

Does it mean that one day, in ten years, I might not be able to play Total War Warhammer? Maybe, and that would suck. But let's be real here (and probably a bit selfish to be honest) I won't be playing that game in ten years, I'll be playing Total War: Warhammer II Electric Bungaloo, along with the rest of you.

The situation sucks. In a perfect world we wouldn't need any of this. In oru world, maybe there is an even better middle ground to be had - Denuvo for 6 months to a year, games that support modding even with it on, and then a decrypted .exe after that as standard practiced.

I'd throw my dollars that way if that's somehting that everyone could agree with.
 

Wereroku

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That is Rage inducing.

As others have pointed out, defeating modding is probably part of the point.
It's certainly a good side effect for the company. Blocking modding as we know it currently makes it easy to open the door to paid mods. If the next Elder Scrolls has Denuvo it would kill the free mod scene but allow publisher approved paid mods to be added.
 

Lister

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That is Rage inducing.



As others have pointed out, defeating modding is probably part of the point.
Total War: Warhammer fully supports mods. Coems wiht workshop support and modding tools.

Again, transparent to me.

Most modding doesn't mess with the executable. Some do, and hopefully tools will allow necessayr access to runtime code to modders.
 

Linkark07

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Agree with OP. That is why I prefer to buy my games from GOG instead of Steam, despite the latter having so many good features that, at least, GOG is implementing with Galaxy.
 

CecilRousso

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Does it mean that one day, in ten years, I might not be able to play Total War Warhammer? Maybe, and that would suck. But let's be real here (and probably a bit selfish to be honest) I won't be playing that game in ten years, I'll be playing Total War: Warhammer II Electric Bungaloo, along with the rest of you.
I can live this in some cases, pay less for a game when it's on sale, and regard it as disposable title.

The problem is when I sit with 10, 20 or 30 old titles, and Denuvo are still the ones who decide if I'm allowed to play them. Then they have an authority over my games that I'm very uncomfortable with.

And if we're heading there, let's at least discuss this and instead of just saying "deal with it".

As a paying customer, that don't pirate games, but plenty of them, I really don't want to shoulder any responsibility for other peoples faults and crimes.
 
Mar 16, 2011
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Look, I'm all for a world where we don't need DRM or Denuvo (which isnt' DRM). But we don't live int hat world. The problem of piracy is significant enough that if we don't have functional DRM systems many games would pass us by. Many games would nto receive the budgets they do for PC development. Like it or not, that is the way fo things.
The thing is you can look at Steam Spy sales of games with Denuvo. Sales generally seem good but not out of this world (Dark Souls III for instance has outsold all(?) of the games with Denuvo despite being able to be pirated day one). With the years and years and years of intense complaining and crying from big publishers about piracy and how they have run the numbers and 99% of their profits are being destroyed by piracy you would expect these games to have millions and millions of sales! But they do not. The sales seem about what you would expect.

The sales don't even matter. If you tell a suit that you can spend some money and have the game become unable to be pirated, they will do it. They will run some cooked up math that adds up to it being worth it, no matter any sort of long term consequences just to remove the variable of piracy from the equation.

Personally, I still buy games with Denuvo though because it has been entirely transparent to me. I am playing DOOM right now and if I wasn't told it had Denuvo I would have never known. I don't think Steam is going away anytime soon and I still have faith these games will be preserved by pirates in some fashion down the road. But I can't say that it doesn't bug me a little bit knowing that there is nothing I can do about it right now if things went south.
 
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OK, if the guy writing that meant he wasn't buying AAA titles at all then my comment was unwarranted. But the way he phrased it implied to me that he was still buying AAA games.

Buying console games because you don't like PC DRM is bizarre. Aside from some of the more screwed up Securom stuff in the past, anyway.

If you're going to choose one of the evils, then you pick the lesser. And some times it does make sense to "vote for the crook, not the fascist".
If I buy a AAA game today, long as I have a working PS4 in 2026 it will still work.

Denuvo creates an uncertainty in the idea that my PC games will work without extensive workarounds 5 years from now.

Besides that I just don't like being treated like a theif. If I can't have the main benefits of an open system, then I may as well stick to a closed one that I'm far more familiar with.
 

Lister

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The thing is you can look at Steam Spy sales of games with Denuvo. Sales generally seem good but not out of this world (Dark Souls III for instance has outsold all(?) of the games with Denuvo despite being able to be pirated day one). With the years and years and years of intense complaining and crying from big publishers about piracy and how they have run the numbers and 99% of their profits are being destroyed by piracy you would expect these games to have millions and millions of sales! But they do not. The sales seem about what you would expect.
I think the issue is more complex and nuanced than that. It's abotu the titles appeal to PC gamers, the marketing, the channels it's available from, the pricing concessions based on different markets, etc, etc.

It's not as simple as x title sold well without Denuvo, y title didn't. And unfortunatley there;s no way of fully testing this. You'd have to release a game with Denuvo, then rewind time and release the same game without it. So far the stats we DO have don't really say Denuvo is abd for sales.. howeve rI also don't think it says it's definitely good for sales either. There are just too many other factors to consider.

I do agree that DRM alone is not going to result in sales. In fact, paradoxically, it might curtail them, depending on the title (something with zero marketing that relies on purely word of mouth might actually do better from pirates talking about the game). But those business concerns are a seperate issue in msot cases. And if you are going to a suit to beg for money for your game, saying it's piracy proof is probably only going to loosen purse strings.
 

Real_Madrid

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I've used numerous Denuvo games and never had a problem with it, even used mods etc and it all worked fine. Most people won't even know it has a (for now at least) bulletproof DRM.

I'm glad it exists, it gives publishers an option to choose if they want a working DRM or not, but I'm also someone who hates pirates as much as some people on here hate DRM apparently.
 

CecilRousso

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I've used numerous Denuvo games and never had a problem with it, even used mods etc and it all worked fine. Most people won't even know it has a (for now at least) bulletproof DRM.

I'm glad it exists, it gives publishers an option to choose if they want a working DRM or not, but I'm also someone who hates pirates as much as some people on here hate DRM apparently.
That's one way to look it, but it's also one that completely disregards all the concerns in OP.