Playdead drops Denuvo from the hit indie platformer Inside

The change was made quietly, without warning or explanation.

Playdead's puzzle-platformer Inside was almost universally acclaimed when it came out in July, and today its bleak authoritarian vision got a little bit more friendly. Not because of something that was added, but because of what was removed: The "anti-tamper" software Denuvo is no longer present.

Denuvo is a commonly-used form of anti-tampering software that's appeared in games including Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, and Dishonored 2. It's not as widely loathed as, say, Starforce or SecuROM, but the only good DRM is no DRM, as the saying goes. And you might counter that by arguing that people who so strongly dislike DRM can purchase it from GOG anyway, and I would respond by saying, well, yes, that's a fair point. But we're talking about Steam right now. 

Denuvo CEO Reinhard Blaukovitsch explained to us recently that Denuvo is not actually DRM at all, but simply software that makes it more difficult to circumvent other DRM schemes like Steam—hence the "anti-tampering" moniker. That seems to me like a fine hair to split, because regardless of what you call it, it has drawn complaints from gamers who say that it adversely affects framerates in some games. But it has also proven remarkably durable: Cracks for Denuvo-protected games didn't start appearing until August, more than six months after Chinese piracy group 3DM vowed to give up on the whole thing. 

Developer Playdead didn't say why it elected to ditch Denuvo, but Inside was one of the Denuvo games that was reportedly cracked in August, along with Doom, Just Cause 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Given that it had largely fulfilled its purpose by that time anyway—preventing piracy during the launch period—there likely just wasn't much point in keeping it around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As lead news writer during ‘merican hours, Andy covers the day-to-day events that keep PC gaming so interesting, exciting, and occasionally maddening. He’s fond of RPGs, FPSs, dungeons, Myst, and the glorious irony of his parents buying him a TRS-80 instead of an Atari so he wouldn't end up wasting his life on videogames.
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