Square Enix seems to be removing Denuvo – a controversial anti-piracy software – from its games, going as far as to remove the software from games that have not yet been cracked.
This week, Square Enix has patched Denuvo software out of several high-profile games. Yesterday (October 20), Denuvo was removed from NieR Replicant as noted on SteamDB. This is significant because – according to several sites that monitor the “cracked” status of games – Nier Replicant has still not been seized by pirates.
Cracking a game refers to finding a workaround for the files that require an online connection to verify legitimate ownership, which is an essential step for pirates who want to play the game without a purchase.
Earlier in the week, Denuvo was also patched out of Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, both published by Square Enix.
While many companies have removed Denuvo from older games that pirates have likely already cracked – such as both Tomb Raider titles – it’s unusual to hear of Denuvo being removed while pirates have still not gained access to the game.
It’s possible that Square Enix is taking the step to remove DRM software following reports that Denuvo could have compatibility issues with Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake CPUs, or it could simply be a case of licences with the software expiring.
Denuvo is highly controversial among PC gamers, as games that use Denuvo require an online internet connection at all times – even if the game is completely single player. There have also been frequent reports of Denuvo negatively impacting the performance of games.
Earlier in the year, hackers identified DRM software (including Denuvo) as the cause for notorious stuttering issues in Resident Evil Village. This caused Capcom to later patch the game to “optimise the anti-piracy technology“.