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Denuvo's Latest Efforts a Performance 'Abomination' Say Cracker

Posted by: , 16:21 AEST, Sat June 3, 2017

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Latest version of Denuvo making hundreds of thousands of protection calls, potentially causing performance problems - but still gets cracked in record time
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Image/Photo Credit: Grey Box Games

The latest iteration of Denuvo used in the game RiME may be making hundreds of thousands of "trigger" calls during game loading, possibly crippling game performance as a result.

The highly rated game RiME, produced by game developers Tequila Works, has been making all the wrong kind of headlines recently. The game is one of a few recent games that has started using the latest version of Denuvo's anti-tampering system, designed to prevent the game's copy protection from being cracked.

Interestingly, Tequila Works promised to rip Denuvo from the game if/when the game's Denuvo protection is cracked. This acted as a clarion call to game crackers everywhere.

Game cracker Baldman answered the call and it was he who managed to beat all others to crack RiME in only a couple of days. Baldman was keen to encourage everyone to still buy what he called a "super nice" game, but when it came to Denuvo, Baldman discovered something sinister in this latest iteration, describing it as a "huge abomination".

While how exactly Denuvo works remains a tightly controlled trade secret, most theorize it's based on a system of "triggers" built into the game's code. The Denuvo system checks for the presence of these triggers to ensure the game has not been cracked, and crackers will need to individually disable each trigger in order to completely disable Denuvo. Since each game will have an unknown number of random placed triggers, the task of cracking Denuvo games is therefore less than trivial.

In recent Denuvo games, the number of trigger calls seems to hover around the 1,000 mark. For RiME, Denuvo has upped the ante and to Baldman's surprise, the number of trigger calls rose quickly to over 300,000 just on initial launching and save game loading.

The count rose to as high as 2 million after just 30 minutes of gameplay.

Baldman estimates that Denuvo now makes around 20 to 30 calls per second, up from the 1 or 2 every couple of minutes in games like Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 and NieR Automata.

This, Baldman says, is a huge performance drain, with the CPU and memory busy calling triggers and having less resources available to the actual game itself. To make matters worse, the trigger calls are obfuscated under a virtual machine, which causes a further performance hit.

True to their word, the developers of RiME have now removed Denuvo from their game.

"Upon receiving this news [that the Denuvo protected game has been cracked], we worked to test this and verify that it was, in fact, the case. We have now confirmed that it is. As such, we at [publisher] Team Grey Box are following through on our promise from earlier this week that we will be replacing the current build of RiME with one that does not contain Denuvo," said RiME community manager Dariuas.

[via TorrentFreak]


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