Denuvo-protected games are being cracked faster than ever

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

According to posts on the Crackwatch subreddit (via PC Gamer), the Steam version of Rage 2, which shipped with Denuvo, did not contain DRM on its .exe executable file on Bethesda’s Launcher, making it simple to create a crack that bypasses the game’s online check-in.

It's easy to see why Denuvo is unpopular; there have been reports of Rage 2 suffering from performance issues because of its inclusion. Some players have experienced crashes, extensive loading times, and frame rate slowdowns.

It appears that Rage 2 isn’t alone in having its DRM bypassed so quickly. Crackwatch has listed other 2019 Denuvo titles that were also cracked in a short space of time. These include Devil May Cry 5, which was cracked within the first day. Metro Exodus took four days, and Resident Evil 2 was beat in six days, as was Far Cry New Dawn. Ace Combat 7, meanwhile, took 13 days.

What’s interesting is that most Denuvo games released last year took longer to crack. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, for example, took 64 days, while Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took 36 days.

Denuvo has admitted that no product is uncrackable, and that its technology’s main purpose is to protect initial game sales. With only around twelve titles using it in 2019 so far, could it be falling out of favor with publishers?

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Jamibi

TS Enthusiast
I would have been very tempted to buy this day one if it wasn't for this Denuvo protection.

In fact, it pretty much encouraged me to not bother with the game at all. Especially as it is struggling with 4k60 on a 2080Ti.

We'll get there one day!
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Ironically, Denuvo makes it MORE desirable to pirate a game, not less... And I'm not sure why anyone is surprised that cracking Denuvo is getting faster. While the company tries to improve their DRM over time, the methods remain quite similar - which means that once a few releases were cracked, all of the others will be cracked fairly easily.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
Denovu did the cardinal sin of DRM: It proclaimed it was unbreakable. NEVER tell the pirate community your product is unbreakable.

Just think, instead of developers pouring resources into integrating denuvo, they could have spent that money on more assets within the game, or better optimization to make it run right, both things that would *gasp* INCREASE sales.

Also, I thought denovo gave a full refund if their product was breached within a certain time-frame. Wouldnt this "denovu getting cracked in 24 hours" render them bankrupt?
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
I was thinking of buying the game, but now I think I'll just do the cracked version out of spite.

Stupid greedy corporate thugs. When will they learn? A happy customer is a generous customer, a customer who wants to buy your product.
 

TheBigFatClown

TS Evangelist
Ironically, Denuvo makes it MORE desirable to pirate a game, not less... And I'm not sure why anyone is surprised that cracking Denuvo is getting faster. While the company tries to improve their DRM over time, the methods remain quite similar - which means that once a few releases were cracked, all of the others will be cracked fairly easily.
I find piracy to be mostly unnecessary these days. Games are on sale for next to nothing all the time barring newly released titles. If one has patience you can get this game (Rage 2) for peanuts or even "free". I paid $5 for Rage 1. My collection of games that I claim for free grows faster than I can play them all.

But I find your second point very interesting and it seems like a logical conclusion to arrive at. If Denuvo is "basically" the same DRM only with a tweak here or a twist there then that could easily explain the exponential reduction of time in cracking newer titles over time.

I think it's failing in the same way the Blu-Ray movie discs protection has failed. They thought up this cool idea to have a way to change keys every time a protection get's broke and that would extend the life of the protection for many years to come. But if the underlying protection scheme is the same your not really offering your customers the protection they (or you) think you are.

History is showing us now that this type of protection scheme grows weaker and weaker over time. Once the hackers understand the underlying concepts that are part of the DRM it seems each crack is less and less challenging.

I remember still when the story was much different with at least one of the best hacking groups giving up all hope in overcoming these challenges. A parallel to how many people had given up hope on AMD.

Oh, how the tides have turned.

I do not support piracy. And I do not support DRM. And no, these are not contradictory statements.

Congratulations to the hackers and their victories!
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I find piracy to be mostly unnecessary these days. Games are on sale for next to nothing all the time barring newly released titles. If one has patience you can get this game (Rage 2) for peanuts or even "free". I paid $5 for Rage 1. My collection of games that I claim for free grows faster than I can play them all.
My point was not about cost - that hasn't really changed in years... But having DRM on your game makes it perform worse - sluggish, etc - and a pirated copy won't have the DRM on it... The irony is that the free copy becomes more desirable than the paid one!

As there still is absolutely NO concrete evidence that piracy impacts game sales (many say that it actually HELPS), the argument for having Denuvo on your game becomes weaker day by day.
 

Mighty Duck

TS Addict
I was thinking of buying the game, but now I think I'll just do the cracked version out of spite.

Stupid greedy corporate thugs. When will they learn? A happy customer is a generous customer, a customer who wants to buy your product.
You never wanted to buy the game, if you plan to crack it on day one. If you want to act like a moral authority, then say that you won't play the game.
 
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