By now many have heard of Denuvo, the anti-tampering solution by Austrian company Denuvo Software Solutions GmbH. Their digital rights management (DRM) solution is used to protect video games from being pirated and distributed online. Details about how Denuvo works are under wraps, but piracy groups have managed to crack a number of games in the past, while failing to crack others. The newest Denuvo cracked game is Capcom’s own Resident Evil 7, which began appearing online just 5 days after release.
Denuvo marketing director Thomas Goebl told Eurogamer, "Please note that we always position our Anti-Tamper solution as hard to crack, not as uncrackable. So far only one piracy group has been able to bypass it". Denuvo will continue to improve their software, and has admitted that the crack is real. Positing that every unprotected title is cracked on the day of release, Goebl said that the software still made a difference for Resident Evil 7.
“Resident Evil 7 has so far shipped 2.5 million copies, but if the crack gains media attention, future sales may be affected.”
Denuvo has protected games since 2014, most often big budget titles. A growing trend however, is that some games have started to remove Denuvo a few months after a game’s release. Id Software removed Denuvo from Doom four months after release when the game was cracked. Some speculated the removal was a condition of Denuvo’s refund policy, but Denuvo stated it was because the software was no longer needed. Denuvo’s software has been hated by gamers since release, with gamers citing everything from “draconian DRM policies” to performance problems.
Resident Evil 7 has so far shipped 2.5 million copies, but if the crack gains media attention, future sales may be affected. Other Denuvo enabled games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst have been cracked previously, but lost sales are notoriously hard to count.
This particular case is troubling because of the incredibly short time it took for the crack to be complete. Other Denuvo cracks have typically taken months, with Rise of the Tomb Raider being cracked more than half a year after release. Whether Resident Evil 7 was just a fluke or a sign of things to come remains to be seen, but if game cracks keep appearing so quickly, AAA titles may have to find another solution.