Playdead drops Denuvo from the hit indie platformer Inside

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.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.