Denuvo's new feature can invisibly watermark your game footage so publishers can track down leakers

Fallout New Vegas screenshot from ultrawide PC gaming monitor showing robot with crying face
(Image credit: Future)

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more popular, Denuvo developer Irdeto has announced the anti-cheat software's newest feature, TraceMark for Games, a tool that will let developers add a unique identifier to game footage. The technology will in theory allow developers and publishers to identify players that are leaking game footage before release, and can be set to be visible or invisible to the user so you'll have no idea if the game's using it or not.

Lest it need introduction, Denuvo is DRM software found in many big-budget PC releases. It's popular with publishers like Capcom for the obvious reasons, and generally unpopular with players, some of whom believe it negatively affects performance (which Denuvo of course denies) and resent its online check-in requirement.

Irdeto says the new tool "leverages the core invisible watermark technology trusted by Hollywood studios" and others, and "uniquely addresses the challenge of content leakage, especially during the sensitive pre-release phase of game development." It claims it will act as a deterrent to leakers, who can now be traced and will "think twice", apparently. Hey, don't we all care about "the overall integrity of the content distribution process"?

The tech will apparently work regardless of any attempts to distort the source, and Iredto reckons it will be especially useful for pre-release activities like playtests and closed betas. And, oh no, they're coming for the journalists! Specifically "the unique security concerns associated with press events and the distribution of review copies." So that's us taken care of.

"With the launch of TraceMark for Gaming, we are setting a new standard in anti-piracy for the gaming industry," said Irdeto SVP Niels Haverkorn. "This innovative solution not only marks a significant milestone for Irdeto but also represents a leap forward in protecting the creative and financial investments of game developers worldwide. At Irdeto, we understand the unique challenges faced by the gaming community, and TraceMark is our commitment to ensuring that these valuable assets are safeguarded throughout their lifecycle.” 

Love to see valuable assets safeguarded through their lifecycle. TraceMark can be combined with Denuvo's usual anti-tamper software, and expect not to see it in a game near you soon.

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."