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Middle-earth: Shadow of War has been cracked in just a day

Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s fortresses might have strong defences, but the game doesn’t. Monolith’s Orc-slaying open-world game uses Denuvo anti-tamper software, and once again it’s been cracked in a single day, letting pirates get access to it almost straight away. 

Denuvo’s appeal, for publishers looking to protect their game, was that the Austrian developer originally boasted that it made games extremely hard to crack, and at first it was tougher nut, taking a month for the first game to be cracked. Since it appeared a few years ago, however, the time between a game’s launch and it being cracked has shrunk considerably. 

Several high profile releases, including Total War: Warhammer 2, have been cracked in a day as well, so the case for using it has become increasingly flimsy. With it no longer being guaranteed to stop piracy, even temporarily, it’s looking more and more like a waste of money, and player goodwill, since it also imposes several restrictions on legitimate users, like limiting activations on different PCs. 

Last year, Denuvo Software Solutions boasted that some publishers were only considering PC versions of console titles because of the DRMs previous success, when it was still stopping pirates, though the link between piracy and sales is questionable. Indeed, a recently published EU Commission report couldn’t find robust evidence of a link at all. 

If publishers want to keep using DRM, they may have to start looking elsewhere. 

Cheers, DSOG.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.