Denuvo Clear Its Name Featured

Denuvo is Attempting to “Clear Its Name” (And It Might Fail Miserably)

It's a brave strategy, I give'em that

It’s been a good while since gamers have collectively decided to hate on Denuvo’s Anti-Tampering systems. Well, I cannot blame them. Rumors and tests claiming that the DRM takes a toll on the game’s overall performance are as ancient as lootboxes, so eventually people just accepted those as a core, sad reality.

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But what if that’s not actually the case? Inderto (the company that owns Denuvo) obviously claims it ain’t so, and now they’re determined to prove it. During a recent Ars Technica interview, Steeve Huin, the Irdeto Chief Operating Officer of Video Games, expressed his interest in providing a benchmark for proving once and for all that Denuvo is not as bad as people think.

Reclaiming the Good Image They Never Had

If you’re a gamer (or more specifically, a PC gamer), you probably heard about Denuvo somewhere. It’s basically the most efficient anti-tempering system available in the industry today, and companies reach out to it whenever a new release is on the horizon to ensure their exclusivity. While it’s not infallible, its existence has been a real wrench in the game-cracking scene as most games take longer to be cracked (if they’re cracked at all).

But the one thing that makes people hate it is that its inclusion has allegedly worsened the overall performance of the games it’s included in. A recent example I can think of is Hogwarts Legacy, where it was widespread around social media that its cracked version ran better than a legitimate one.

This bad stigma has followed Denuvo throughout the last few years, but Huin wants to change that. During his interview, he announced a new program that should be ready in the coming months, where two versions of the same game will be rolled out to some media outlets. One of them including DRM protection and one without it, proving once and for all that Denuvo doesn’t negatively impact a game.

But how effective would that be? While Denuvo has been around since 2014, it was never seen as a good guy. Not by game crackers, at least. And once the news about framerates dropping thanks to its inclusion started coming out, things became way worse for them. It should be worth a try, at least. Maybe?

A Bad Time Incoming For Denuvo

While this is a bold strategy, to say the least, it could definitely backfire in the worst way possible. It’s easy to find comparisons between Denuvo and non-Denuvo copies of the same game implying that the DRM was responsible for a worse performance. Some cases might show contrary results, but those are likely to be left out on purpose. 

Screenshot via Overlord Gaming Youtube Channel

And the most purist Denuvo haters will make sure to keep this narrative going, especially if they’re already inclined toward piracy. This combined with the existing hatred that some people harbor for certain big outlets can definitely spell out some trouble for Denuvo. People will accuse them of paying for good reviews on Day 1, and that’s not even speculation. It’s just internet behavior.

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But as it’s noted in the original interview, Huin sees Denuvo as necessary as it’s been effectively doing what it was intended to do: fight against piracy and win. At least most of the time. Hence why he wants more people to trust it while promising some new protection features in the future.

Whether Denuvo does affect overall performance or if it’s just some other, external patches that do the trick when the protection is removed, I cannot say for sure. But some recent games such as Street Fighter 6 have shown no big issues despite including Denuvo, so I feel like it wouldn’t hurt to let Huin cook for a bit.

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Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.