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Denuvo DRM gets the elbow from Grey Box's RiME

by Mark Tyson on 2 June 2017, 12:46

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PC game RiME was published about a week ago and was delivered protected by the well known Denuvo anti-tampering DRM system. The DRM has been cracked within five days and, as promised by the publishers / developers, a new DRM-free version of the game will be released shortly, as an update.

According to the developers Grey Box, RiME was released with Denuvo as they were frightened after seeing piracy rate statistics for similar games. In his forum post game producer Cory Bradley said that the firm intended to remove Denuvo after the initial two or three weeks of release, by which time it would likely be cracked. Now that crack has come after just five days of release. Nevertheless, Bradley says Grey Box will stick to its promise and distribute a DRM-free version of the game in a software update today.

At the time of release it was admitted that Denuvo would cause a "small performance hit" in RiME. However many users complained of more significant performance issues. The hacker credited with the RiME DRM crack, Baldman at SkidRow, asserts that Denuvo did an amazing 300,000 checks during game launch and game saving. "Did you wonder why game loading times are so long", asked BaldMan rhetorically. Furthermore, while the RiME game was running, Denuvo would call about 10 to 30 triggers per second "slowing the game down" explained the cracker.

In related news Bethesda's Prey had its Denuvo DRM protection cracked within 10 days of release. This, and previous games cracked by SkidRow, had 'calmer' Denuvo implementations, says BaldMan, requesting just 1,000 triggers to launch and then just one or two checks every several minutes of gameplay.

The first update to RiME, which will also deliver a DRM-free game to owners, is scheduled for release today. RiME has gathered 'very positive' reviews on Steam and is available there for £29.99.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I don't mind DRM if it doesn't cause issues but lately most of them have been a PITA.

Nice to see them state they will remove it but the question remains, why use it in the first place when you know damn well it's causing a performance overhead?
shaithis
.. why use it in the first place when you know damn well it's causing a performance overhead?

Because no software company wants people pirating their game mere hours after it's been released?

The concept of acceptable losses and the theory of conscientious pirates hold no sway over hard financials.

DRMs like this still need to fade to a disappointing page in history though..

On a different note, is it possible that this distribution of Denuvo was so militaristic because the authors are experimenting on how to keep the DRM crackers at bay for longer? I'm not 100% on how these work. Does appear to be the kind of somewhat popular indie game that they could get away with trying it in.
I think this article and headline (the main page headline, not the one at the top of the page) make a lot of things sound concrete that really aren't. Every single game I've ever bought which has Denuvo has attracted threads claiming it causes performance issues, from people who do not own the game (Steam shows you an icon to tell you if the person is a customer) - transparently, these are prospective pirates frustrated by the DRM.

Undoubtedly, past iterations of this DRM did cause a significant performance hit but we know it's been good in its latest evolution. Maybe you lose a frame here or there, but when my games are getting well over 100fps I don't care. The assertion that it's affecting loading times in Rime is unlikely. No doubt the devs can and will improve their compression and get their loading times down, but checks from the DRM can't be causing that. Again, plenty of other games load lightning fast for me, whereas this is a graphically ambitious multi-platform title from a relatively small indie team; is anyone surprised that the game isn't in its best form on release?

I'm not saying Denuvo is 100% definitely not causing issues in Rime. Maybe it is. Maybe these programmers lack whatever knowledge or techniques other devs have used to make their games work well with it. I just think the home page headline and sub (“Processor sapping, irritating, Denuvo”), and some of the text here, makes it all seem too cut and dried.
Otherhand
..

It depends on the implementation of the DRM/Anti-Tamper. From what I've seen, the implementation of Denuvo in RiME is incredibly heavy handed. An analysis I've seen of the triggers/calls to the Denuvo code in this title - where you may see 10-20 a minute in a typical implementation - are up in the hundreds/thousands per minute. That's valuable CPU time taken away from the game. People using the risky “denuvo removed” versions that have been floating around t'web are reporting load/save times halving without the Anti-Tamper running. That's significant.

I own a couple of Denuvo protected titles and on the whole I don't notice my CPU screaming, but I have a fairly powerful system that can cope with it. I'd be annoyed to buy RiME knowing the code is almost crippling itself where some pirate is potentially getting twice the performance for free.


Wonder how many mods/admins are watching this thread like a hawk.
Ozaron
shaithis
.. why use it in the first place when you know damn well it's causing a performance overhead?

Because no software company wants people pirating their game mere hours after it's been released?

The concept of acceptable losses and the theory of conscientious pirates hold no sway over hard financials.

DRMs like this still need to fade to a disappointing page in history though..

On a different note, is it possible that this distribution of Denuvo was so militaristic because the authors are experimenting on how to keep the DRM crackers at bay for longer? I'm not 100% on how these work. Does appear to be the kind of somewhat popular indie game that they could get away with trying it in.

To the best of my memory, no company has ever succeeded in showing damaging effects of piracy. At best they can estimate the number of times a game has been pirated and immediately equate that with lost earnings (or literal theft) instead of lost potential earnings.

Same thing happened when Molyneux cried about how GAME (the store) where making more money on second hand resales and that meant the publishers & developers where literally losing money, despite having made theirs already months before hand, but saw an opportunity to cry and try to lobby the government to force reselling stores to give the original publisher another cut of the profits.

If you make it harder for people to pirate a game thats cool, those who want to play it on release will pay for it, while those who'll wait a week or so will end up paying for it too. The rest, as in the vast bulk of piracy, will never pay for it DRM or not.

The problem in my opinion is really the pirates who profit from others work, which is the whole point of copyright.



also, I know people who still refuse to use Steam because they consider it unethical and draconian :D