PC gaming anti-piracy solution Denuvo has faced some recent setbacks, but the company behind it is still confident they can win the fight against pirates
Anti-piracy technologies have been a mixed bag in terms of success, but one name has been turning heads in the industry due to its on-going success and longevity. Denuvo, which brands itself not as a DRM but as an anti-tampering solution, has made many 'triple A' titles immune to piracy, sometimes for months after release, and this, the company's CEO and marketing director says, is something that will continue.
Denuvo's success hasn't always been consistent. A recent Steam flaw allowed many Denuvo games to be played by pirates, and shortly after, cracking group CPY released the first full crack for Denuvo.
The dominoes seemed ready to fall when the game 'Inside' was cracked in record time - six weeks was still a long time to crack a game (with previous anti-piracy measures sometimes taken down hours after a game's release), but it compared well to earlier efforts to break a Denuvo protected game that may have taken more than 6 months.
Soon after the 'Inside' success, new games including 'Doom' and 'Mirror's Edge Catalyst', were cracked as well.
Despite these setbacks, Denuvo marketing director Thomas Goebl says that while the company is aware that no protection is perfect, any protection they give during the first few days and weeks of release will still prove to be invaluable for game publishers.
"You have to have a realistic view of anti-piracy measures," says Goebl.
"There is no such thing as unbreakable protection. That’s something we always tell our clients to help manage their expectations. Our scope is to prevent early cracks for every title. We want to allow an initial window when a game is released to have an uncracked version and thus guarantee sales."
And Denuvo is an evolving solution, according to the company's CEO Reinhard Blaukovitsch. Blaukovitsch says that with every crack of Denuvo, their team of engineers get right back to work to make Denuvo even stronger.
"The procedure [after a crack] is the same every time. We analyze how the crack was done and then we update our protection. It’s a game of cat and mouse that we play," Blaukovitsch says.
"There are many techniques we use to prevent people from debugging, reverse engineering and otherwise tampering with our software. We are improving that technology or those techniques on a day-to-day basis, and coming up with new ideas that are almost entirely new inventions on a monthly basis on how we improve our service."