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

prudislav

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honestly i would rather the devs to spend money top make the games actually good and polished instead of spending it to annoying layers and layers of DRM...
.. so far every game with it I bought was quite a dissapointment ... some in gameplay and some in technical state :-(
but I guess thats the industry problem and reason why i prefer indies over AAA these days
 

Real_Madrid

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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.
Isn't this comparing apples to oranges? How can you say that a game with denuvo sold more or less the same, as it would have without the DRM. Maybe DS3 would have sold a million more, maybe FC Primal would have sold way less. Comparing a random good selling game to denuvo games like Primal that obviously have a lesser appeal is strange.
 

MMaRsu

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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.
But why? Pirates are after all possible customers. Not saying I condone piracy but you condone inconveinincing legitimate users to spite people who were probably not going to spend money on a product anyway ( lets be honest most ppl who pirate will stay pirates )
 
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Isn't this comparing apples to oranges? How can you say that a game with denuvo sold more or less the same, as it would have without the DRM. Maybe DS3 would have sold a million more, maybe FC Primal would have sold way less. Comparing a random good selling game to denuvo games like Primal that obviously have a lesser appeal is strange.
It is somewhat apples to oranges yes but what I am saying is that big AAA games have come and gone with and without Denuvo and the sales of the ones with Denuvo don't seem extraordinary. A lot of these games also have previous installments without Denuvo that sold pretty solid too. It is true that it is impossible to know if something would have sold more or less with Denuvo since you only get one game launch but seeing these sales of unpirateable games after so many years (honestly, decades!) of publisher whining and crying is kind of funny honestly.
 

Abstrusity

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So what are the numbers post-Denuvo?

Studies have indicated before that piracy was actually good for these digital ecosystems because it grew markets that otherwise wouldn't exist. The whole DRM scheme just screams captive market.
 

Real_Madrid

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That's one way to look it, but it's also one that completely disregards all the concerns in OP.
Oh, but I have mostly the same concerns ;)
That's why I think Denuvo should be more open to the consumer, especially the hardcore gamers and communicate why the DRM isn't going to stop working when they aren't around anymore or how the DRM is future proof etc. Just an open honest interview with pc gamer for example, could clear some things up.
Not only the consumers should know this, but also the publishers, I feel that more and more money is to be made from older games, so I would assume it would be nice if they knew that Denuvo isn't going to break games in the future.

As someone who bought some GFWL games last year (Tron Evolution and Crysis i think), I can only sympathize with people who are against that type of DRM, I would never ever endorse such a DRM. But Denuvo could be the next less intrusive DRM. As I said in my first reply, I used Denuvo games and mods and never had a problem with it.
 

Real_Madrid

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But why? Pirates are after all possible customers. Not saying I condone piracy but you condone inconveinincing legitimate users to spite people who were probably not going to spend money on a product anyway ( lets be honest most ppl who pirate will stay pirates )
So what is it now? ;)

And DRM is never 'fun', but I understand why it exists and Denuvo isn't intrusive or even noticeable in my experience.
 

Chacranajxy

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I mean, I'm just not buying games saddled with it. I have no interest in paying money for something like that.

I'd make an exception when a given Denuvo-ridden game is like $5... because that's a game rental price, and that's what I'm getting.
 

Gamezone

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Can you name one that's as restrictive as what we've seen on PC?
I don't get it. You only have to check in once with Denuvo, unless you reinstall the game or change PC. It's the same thing with consoles. Console gamers are pretty much used to it, but PC gamers aren't. I think that's the problem.

I don't like DRM, but I think Denuvo reaches a fine balance between user friendliness and publishers who wants to protect their games againt piracy. I don't like it, but compared to useless shit like always online, I'd take it.
 

Chacranajxy

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I don't get it. You only have to check in once with Denuvo, unless you reinstall the game or change PC. It's the same thing with consoles. Console gamers are pretty much used to it, but PC gamers aren't. I think that's the problem.

I don't like DRM, but I think Denuvo reaches a fine balance between user friendliness and publishers who wants to protect their games againt piracy. I don't like it, but compared to useless shit like always online, I'd take it.
I think part of it is PCs, unlike consoles, are often upgraded. You don't know if swapping out certain parts is going to trigger something that makes the DRM act up. Reinstalling Windows will definitely do the trick. Upgrading to a new version of Windows has frequently broken old DRM-schemes, and forced users to seek out a crack. And a lot of DRM schemes do require you to phone home, which also requires that the DRM company's servers be up and running... who knows how long that'll last?

With a console, it's kind of a set-it-and-forget-it sorta thing. You install the game once and... that's kinda it. You have it. Like, once Nintendo shuts down the DSiWare store later this year, I don't particularly have to give a shit, because I have all the games on my system and I'm not just going to suddenly lose access to them for some random reasons.


I wonder how many fans of Bulletstorm there are in this thread.
Actually, that's something I was wondering about. Is there a way to play that game on PC now? Not sure if they ever patched out the GFWL nonsense or what the deal was. Damn shame, in any case -- it's one of the best shooters ever.
 

prudislav

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Actually, that's something I was wondering about. Is there a way to play that game on PC now? Not sure if they ever patched out the GFWL nonsense or what the deal was. Damn shame, in any case -- it's one of the best shooters ever.
Same as with GTA4 i wasnt able to legally run it :( Pirated binaries works though
 

Fardeen

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i dont really like denuvo, witcher 3 is a drm free game and still made a ton of money, if your game are really worth purchasing people will buy it!
 

madjoki

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CA's Denuvo FAQ actually confirms that there's a silent authentication process:



There's also this, which would be impossible to enforce if Denuvo weren't "phoning home" to the degree mentioned above:



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.
Yeah, Denuvo definitely phones home when you launch game and then stores license in steam cloud, which is an interesting choice. So in theory license should survive reinstall, but if you regularly change PC's, it will get invalid each time.

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.
Valve does own EU company, Valve SARL. It was used for tax evasion on digital purchases until it was made impossible, now it handles hardware sales on EU, while Digital Purchases are handled by Valve US. Valve's own refund system is better than what EU laws gives too, not to mention that US companies are bound by EU laws if they sell there.
 

MrCunningham

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CA's Denuvo FAQ actually confirms that there's a silent authentication process:



There's also this, which would be impossible to enforce if Denuvo weren't "phoning home" to the degree mentioned above:



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.
So it is almost exactly like SecuriROM then? But without the rootkits. That is really disconcerting. I honestly hate the idea of limited the games you buy to certain hardware configurations. The last SecuriROM game that gave me this issue forced me to go and download a crack just to completely disable it just so I could install the game that I purchased on newer hardware.

This type of locked down control doesn't really deter piracy at all and just causes headaches for the end user.
 

RionaaM

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Oh, but I have mostly the same concerns ;)
That's why I think Denuvo should be more open to the consumer, especially the hardcore gamers and communicate why the DRM isn't going to stop working when they aren't around anymore or how the DRM is future proof etc. Just an open honest interview with pc gamer for example, could clear some things up.
Not only the consumers should know this, but also the publishers, I feel that more and more money is to be made from older games, so I would assume it would be nice if they knew that Denuvo isn't going to break games in the future.

As someone who bought some GFWL games last year (Tron Evolution and Crysis i think), I can only sympathize with people who are against that type of DRM, I would never ever endorse such a DRM. But Denuvo could be the next less intrusive DRM. As I said in my first reply, I used Denuvo games and mods and never had a problem with it.
But Denuvo isn't future-proof. If the authentication servers ever go down, you'll be left with a useless game. This is just another GFWL waiting to happen.

Besides, a company saying something is (or isn't) going to happen doesn't mean that it will become true, so if I don't trust Denuvo there's no reason why I should trust its devs either.

I think it's great that developers have new tools to protect their property.
Even if it comes at the expense of customers being able to modify the games they bought? At the risk of rendering those games unplayable in the future?
 

madjoki

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So it is almost exactly like SecuriROM then? But without the rootkits. That is really disconcerting. I honestly hate the idea of limited the games you buy to certain hardware configurations. The last SecuriROM game that gave me this issue forced me to go and download a crack just to completely disable it just so I could install the game that I purchased on newer hardware.

This type of locked down control doesn't really deter piracy at all and just causes headaches for the end user.
Yeah, it's kinda like SecureROM. But with differences: No serial key (it uses app tickets to prove ownership), this means family sharing works.

It very much deters piracy, none of recent Denuvo games have cracks. (Which also means, if/when Denuvo dies, games might become unplayable, which is bad).
 

Tealmann

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It's really sad to me that there's basically a campaign going on against the Windows Store across multiple websites, yet not that many people care about Denuvo when it's just as bad.
It still stops mods, it still stops the games from being played on Linux, it still means that in 10 years when a game is out of circulation because some dumb publisher kerfuffle you won't be able to buy or pirate the game at all.
Think about this, in 20 years, Doom 4 is no longer sold and Steam is no more (And don't give me that "Steam is forever" shit, just go with this for a second). You can't buy the game from Steam because that's gone, Bethesda never bothered putting it on a new store, GOG can't do anything because it has Denuvo and only Bethesda could remove that, and you can't pirate the game because it was never cracked. The game is GONE. Completely. If you want to play it, you'd have to emulate the PS4 version.
And let's not forget that this will be the first DOOM game without mods.
 

Foddzy

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Cross another game off my wanted list.

Publishers that use Denuvo are dead to me for their lack of transparency and shady anti-consumer crap.
 

madjoki

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It's really sad to me that there's basically a campaign going on against the Windows Store across multiple websites, yet not that many people care about Denuvo when it's just as bad.
It still stops mods, it still stops the games from being played on Linux, it still means that in 10 years when a game is out of circulation because some dumb publisher kerfuffle you won't be able to buy or pirate the game at all.
Think about this, in 20 years, Doom 4 is no longer sold and Steam is no more (And don't give me that "Steam is forever" shit, just go with this for a second). You can't buy the game from Steam because that's gone, Bethesda never bothered putting it on a new store, GOG can't do anything because it has Denuvo and only Bethesda could remove that, and you can't pirate the game because it was never cracked. The game is GONE. Completely. If you want to play it, you'd have to emulate the PS4 version.
And let's not forget that this will be the first DOOM game without mods.
I wouldn't say it's as bad as WinStore. Denuvo doesn't have to prevent modding, if publisher wants to support it. Bethesda wants consoles to modding, so they limit it on PC because of that and provide limited alternatives (like Doom's Snapmap). Just Cause 3 has modding scene too, despite Denuvo and no support from devs.

Linux is legit complaint. I'm also wondering if devs are delaying/canceling/not doing Linux versions in fears of it helping cracking Windows version. (Assuming there's no Linux version of Denuvo).

Mad Max linux version was announced far ahead of it's release and is still missing. (But it seems to be worked on based on SteamDB, so maybe we'll soon have answer on that).
 

Durante

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This directly contradicts what I've understood to be the case previously.
As far as I was aware, Denuvo doesn't have any servers. It is an anti-tamper protection which prevents modification of the existing (e.g. Steam) server checks.

Is this correct or incorrect? Anyone with a Denuvo game could easily check this by monitoring its online connections.

It's really sad to me that there's basically a campaign going on against the Windows Store across multiple websites, yet not that many people care about Denuvo when it's just as bad.
It can never be as bad, because it's not integrated into the OS.

It's also not nearly as bad in practical terms, e.g. it doesn't prevent overlays or dll call interception.
 

Lister

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So it is almost exactly like SecuriROM then? But without the rootkits. That is really disconcerting. I honestly hate the idea of limited the games you buy to certain hardware configurations. The last SecuriROM game that gave me this issue forced me to go and download a crack just to completely disable it just so I could install the game that I purchased on newer hardware.

This type of locked down control doesn't really deter piracy at all and just causes headaches for the end user.
What headache though? And for how many users?

I'll play the game for most of this year. I might upgrade during the holidays. I might or might not (probably not) re-install windows 10.

At that point I... install steam, download my game and play.

Where is the issue for 99% of people playing this game?
 

Chacranajxy

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What headache though? And for how many users?

I'll play the game for most of this year. I might upgrade during the holidays. I might or might not (probably not) re-install windows 10.

At that point I... install steam, download my game and play.

Where is the issue for 99% of people playing this game?
It's not really a question of "how many users experience problems," it's "why should any paying customer experience problems?" There's no reason for it.
 

LordOcidax

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I am starting to like Denuvo... I love to see pirates crying on torrent and forums because no crack for the newest games.
 

SneakyStephan

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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".
I agree that's a silly argument.

And yes the answer is to not support this crap at all.


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).


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.
They never did ANYTHING to help modding with jc2

They saw how popular the jc2 mp mod was and used that as an opportunity to provide lip service before the launch of jc3 to garner some goodwill during the pre order hype phase.

And again they never did anything to help modders, only made it harder with denuvo and then broke all the existing mods that the community had worked on in a patch (the opposite of 'helping'


The modders said avalanche went out of their way to stop people from fixing the mods after breaking them
a patch that also appears to have hid vital data that previously assisted with mod creation

All denuvo does is empower shitty publishers and shitty developers to screw over their own customers some more.
 

madjoki

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This directly contradicts what I've understood to be the case previously.
As far as I was aware, Denuvo doesn't have any servers. It is an anti-tamper protection which prevents modification of the existing (e.g. Steam) server checks.

Is this correct or incorrect? Anyone with a Denuvo game could easily check this by monitoring its online connections.
.
Denuvo has it's own server, it's hosted at Amazon's AWS.

They even have webactivation service.

https://support.codefusion.technology/justcause3/

Went ahead and captured traffic for you:

 

MrCunningham

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It's not really a question of "how many users experience problems," it's "why should any paying customer experience problems?" There's no reason for it.
Yes exactly. But at the same time I can't really talk about Denuvo much as I haven't purchased any games that use the DRM scheme yet to give myself a better understanding on how it works (I will get around to buying Doom later). But Doom is a high end triple AAA that will also serve as a bench mark for some users. If (and Is till don't know the details here) Denuvo has any issues that can cause hardware lockout problems then it could be a headache for those that want to move Doom to newer and different hardware.

Yeah, it's kinda like SecureROM. But with differences: No serial key (it uses app tickets to prove ownership), this means family sharing works.

It very much deters piracy, none of recent Denuvo games have cracks. (Which also means, if/when Denuvo dies, games might become unplayable, which is bad).
Just because it isn't cracked now, doesn't mean it won't ever be. Never underestimate the resilience of pirates and crackers.
 

Mugaaz

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I don't disagree with most of the specific points in this thread, but I think it's a net positive. We are moving towards GaaS. There is going to be some missteps along the way, but that's always involved with change.
 

wbacon

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Remember when GFWL croaked and people had to crack those games to keep playing them.
While GFWL Marketplace (Microsoft's digital storefront) was decommissioned back in August 2013, their backend services including Live login, SSA, Matchmaking, Achievements, Leaderboards, etc. remain in service today. This is one of the reasons why we continue selling (and recently started promoting) GFWL games on Steam.

That being said, GFWL client can be finicky with login especially with post-Windows 7 operating systems.

As for stripping out GFWL, it's not as simple as shipping an unprotected version of the executable. Using our games as an example, we had to replace Live Services with an equivalent feature set on Steam such as Matchmaking, Leaderboards, and Achievements since the original code was dependent on many of these integrated backend services. When we ported RE5 and DR2/OTR, it required quite a bit of reengineering and QA since there were tons of knock-on bugs that were introduced due to API/service switch-a-roo. (8+ month of Dev and QA)

If it was a simple DRM or anti-tamper solution, it'd be as simple as shipping an unprotected version of the exe.
 

Durante

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We are moving towards GaaS.
Over my dead body.
Well, more like "over me no longer participating in mainstream gaming at all (rather than very little)", but that doesn't sound quite as decisive.

The good thing is that many of the games I care most about, especially those funded by Kickstarter campaigns, are moving in the opposite direction (with DRM-free releases).
 

Mugaaz

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Over my dead body.
Well, more like "over me no longer participating in mainstream gaming at all (rather than very little)", but that doesn't sound quite as decisive.

The good thing is that many of the games I care most about, especially those funded by Kickstarter campaigns, are moving in the opposite direction (with DRM-free releases).
The KS thing is true. Speaking only for myself here, but I would say as a whole that I regret games I KS or bought EA. It's been almost entirely letdowns and years of delay or dead projects, with a few shining gems in the heap of filth. I'd rather have Denuvo over those any day.
 

_machine

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They never did ANYTHING to help modding with jc2
What's this then? Or did you miss the part where he said that they are very limited in what they can do (which is something that an independent studio will ultimately face when working with a publishers)? Or maybe asks the guys actually developing the mod with blessing and communication from S-E, if they think Avalanche are cunts like you said: https://community.nanos.io/index.php?/topic/69-development-blog-week-9/ ? Who are still going strong with mod despite the patch and showing progress often.

The modders said avalanche went out of their way to stop people from fixing the mods after breaking them
.
No, the modders said that the patch broke support for some mods, not "how avalanche went out of their way" at least how JC3Mods reported it:
It is not known whether this was done to intentionally disable modding or was a side effect of core components being modified during the development of the patch.
Unfortunately, patches breaking mod support is extremely common when we are talking about unofficial support. Even games with official mod tools struggle with it (any Beth title, Cities: Skylines, Ark). Not to mention that it simply makes no god damn sense (expect maybe R* felt that the multi mods might have cannibalized their economy, but that's hardly the case with most other titles), there's no ROI and hell, even publishers know that intentionally breaking mods is not good.

Again though, you obviously have no clue on how it works from a developer-side, so calling generally all developers cunts is pretty fucking gross.

So what are the numbers post-Denuvo?

Studies have indicated before that piracy was actually good for these digital ecosystems because it grew markets that otherwise wouldn't exist. The whole DRM scheme just screams captive market.
Can you point me to these studies, as they are pretty contradicting with the ones I've heard from a few research companies (unfortunately not directly, since any of my work wouldn't have benefitted from research of the kind). But realistically speaking, there's no way we could see any effect from the outside, but even a marginal conversion rate would definitely outset the cost of implementation. Denuvo's marketing team has seemed to be on-point, but the fact that their customers have also stuck with it should be an indication of it's value for publishers.
 

Abstrusity

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Over my dead body.
Well, more like "over me no longer participating in mainstream gaming at all (rather than very little)", but that doesn't sound quite as decisive.

The good thing is that many of the games I care most about, especially those funded by Kickstarter campaigns, are moving in the opposite direction (with DRM-free releases).
Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about it. The already tenuous grasp of ownership on digitally distributed software and licensing just puts more and more power in the hands of the publishers -- this is a good thing only insofar as it's an 'i win' button in court proceedings. For everyone else, though, digital distribution is a means of having a CAPTIVE MARKET.

For those unfamiliar with the term, captive market is one where the seller can put as many restrictions as they want on a product, and your choices are"buy them under my rules or don't buy at all." In the gaming sphere, it's "buy them under my rules, on my platform, with my DRM, or don't buy at all. Also, the DRM platform and secondary DRM could break your game or worse and we are not obligated to give you refunds, you agreed to the terms."

GOG is a great step for my side of this argument -- DRM free games that are also free of DRM platforms like Steam. Its platform allows you to play pirated games and gently reminds you that you can purchase it, and get all this nice stuff with it, if you do. The entire reason I purchased TW3 was because of this reminder, when I initially pirated the game to play it as a demo and suddenly realized I'd played it for 10 hours.

Where, sure, GaaS might allow us to trial a game before renting(likely for full price because captive market), it's been shown that demos DECREASE sales, not increase them, so there is literally zero reason to include them, anymore. Most people will buy into GaaS regardless, the world keeps spinning, and the publishers save more money than any diminished otherwise-sales would cost them.

In any case, I'll take up woodworking and redouble my efforts in electrical work before biting, there, I think.

.


Can you point me to these studies, as they are pretty contradicting with the ones I've heard from a few research companies (unfortunately not directly, since any of my work wouldn't have benefitted from research of the kind). But realistically speaking, there's no way we could see any effect from the outside, but even a marginal conversion rate would definitely outset the cost of implementation. Denuvo's marketing team has seemed to be on-point, but the fact that their customers have also stuck with it should be an indication of it's value for publishers.
Sure, I'll look for them after I'm back from my doctor's appointment. I believe it was more strongly leaning toward international markets where these things were otherwise not available, Russia and Eastern European countries, and mixed with international piracy of domestic-only media, like movies.
 

_machine

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Sure, I'll look for them after I'm back from my doctor's appointment. I believe it was more strongly leaning toward international markets where these things were otherwise not available, Russia and Eastern European countries, and mixed with international piracy of domestic-only media, like movies.
Ah, that's a fair point, which I can get behind especially if developers are not taking into account regional pricing. It's a good reason why local developers there tend to go for F2P business model and why the market isn't viewed as "first-tier" when talking about AAA games. Still though, in general when speaking about AAA titles, it contradicts any data points I might know and the research I've heard of, so I'm definitely interested in reading studies of the contrary.
 

MUnited83

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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.
It's DRM, it calls back home, and it has a a server it checks in with
 

flaxknuckles

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I was waiting for Valve to make an official drm-free backup service for Steam but I think I might go ahead and start buying my games from GOG. Oh wait, their Linux support sucks nevermind. Whhhhhhhyyyy, I just know Denuvo's gonna bite me in the ass at some point.
 

nomis

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"I will NEVER buy another AAA PC title with this Denuvo bullshit..."

"...until it's $7.50 on a Steam sale."
 

Apexhell

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Cross another game off my wanted list.

Publishers that use Denuvo are dead to me for their lack of transparency and shady anti-consumer crap.
but don't about ~90% of AAA games use it ? so you are done with gaming on pc other than on the indie front?

I dont really see the problem if the company tanks the developers choose to patch it out repeating the gfwl bullshit i can only think of a handful of titles that didnt patch it out. and even still most of those games still work with local gfwl account for saves.
 

Apexhell

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Jan 17, 2013
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More 10% than 90%.

But if 90% was the case, I would be done too.
really ? i think of every major release in the past 2 years has used a version of denuvo not just on steam but uplay/origin games too. ok maybe its not 90 but its way higher than 10% edit:maybe its just the game i was interested in and bought interesting...
 

jmga

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Mar 28, 2013
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really ? i think of every major release in the past 2 years has used a version of denuvo not just on steam but uplay/origin games too. ok maybe its not 90 but its way higher than 10% edit:maybe its just the game i was interested in and bought interesting...
No more than 20 AAA games have use Denuvo in the past 2 years, some of them requiring online connection so Denuvo is the least of their problems, you have a list on Wikipedia.