The Irdeto security firm announced that it acquired games DRM maker Denuvo.
Denuvo is a name known among game pirates and legitimate game owners alike. The popular game DRM started to appear in AAA games in late 2014. Over the subsequent two years, usage of Denuvo grew massively. Its popularity hasn’t waned, and it’s still used in almost all AAA titles, including Star Wars: Battlefront II, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Prey, and many others.
Denuvo came to be known by pirates because of its effectiveness. It’s true that a huge amount of games using it have ultimately been cracked, but Denuvo has been, at least partially successful in delaying cracking for many major games. Reportedly, Denuvo 4.8, which protects Star Wars: Battlefront II, was only cracked recently, three months after its release. Delaying cracking actually seems to be the working principle of Denuvo, as multiple game makers eventually patched the DRM out of their games.
For legitimate game owners, however, Denuvo’s name came to be blamed blocking players from playing their games, when authentication servers went down, and for reportedly slowing down performance. In the earlier days, when the more intrusive SecuROM was the big name in AAA games, it built up a reputation for DRM technology that it did more harm than good. Of course any legitimate game owner would be angry if they weren’t able to play their game on release, so Denuvo might have inherited more hatred than it actually deserves.
The news that Denuvo has been purchased by much-larger security expert Irdeto could mean that game cracking is about to get harder. One of the Dutch firm’s main focuses is authentication security for media content distributions systems and piracy control. According to Irdeto’s announcement, nothing will change immediately at Denuvo. The long-term goal is to have Denuvo DRM integrated with Irdeto’s own technology, but we won’t see DRM leave any time soon.