Capcom's DRM patch just broke Monster Hunter Rise on Steam Deck

Monster Hunter Rise
(Image credit: Capcom)

Oh Capcom. The Japanese giant's love affair with DRM is long and well-documented, but recently it's been making some aggressive post-release changes to games that are pretty old in the teeth, with some speculation that adding DRM after the fact to titles like Resident Evil: Revelations is mainly about crimping naughty mods (which may or may not be down to a nude Chun Li mod being broadcast to the world). Adding DRM to Revelations was such a success Capcom had to roll the update back almost immediately.

Undaunted, Capcom has pressed on with this new tactic and now pulled a real doozy. The excellent Monster Hunter Rise, which used Denuvo DRM, has received a new patch replacing this with Enigma Protector DRM (the same DRM added to Revelations). The immediate impact? The game just doesn't work on Steam Decks anymore, with plenty of users sharing video proof

A round of applause please. I mean Capcom's got some form in pissing off users with botched DRM implementations, but this one takes the cake: not least because Steam Deck is arguably the perfect fit for this game. 

Sure enough Steam's user reviews have gone from "Very Positive" to "Mixed" with nearly every negative review mentioning this most recent update, several complaining that it no longer works on Steam Deck, and plenty of good old-fashioned DRM cursing. It is important to note here that, while Capcom's definitely broken something with this update, there is no smoking gun to connect the Deck issue with the addition of the Enigma Protector DRM.

Capcom's patch notes have now been updated, and say: "There have been reports of the game not running on Steam Deck after updating to Ver. The dev team is currently investigating this issue. We will let you know as soon as we find out more, so please hold on for further information."

Some users are reporting that using the latest Proton hotfix clears up the problem. As detailed on the Steam Deck support page, that entails selecting Monster Hunter Rise on your Steam Deck, clicking the Menu button, and then selecting Properties, Compatibility, and then "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool." From there, find and select the "Proton Hotfix" option, download the update, and then try your luck.

But that fix leaves out players—the majority of them, I would imagine—who either aren't tech-savvy enough to deep dive into troubleshooting, or just don't want to deal with the hassle. It also leaves unaddressed Capcom's rationalization for wrapping its older games in new DRM, and the irritation it's causing by doing so. Thus far Capcom hasn't even acknowledged that new DRM is being added, much less explained its rationale. The widely-held assumption is that it wants to crack down on mod usage, which is a problem in its own right: Even if the whole thing had gone perfectly smoothly and unmodded games continued to function as they always have, the sudden loss of mod would inevitably piss people off. Not as many people as breaking the game for everyone, sure, but enough that it definitely wouldn't count as a PR win.

For now, it looks like another rollback may be on the cards. Seriously though: Rise as it was ran like a dream (for me, anyway). The very notion of Capcom executing a do-over on DRM and just stopping the game from working on arguably the most popular standardised PC platform out there… it's not a good look, and Monster Hunter players have every right to be pissed.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."