The double-stacking Denuvo update did not cause a lot of joy for the PC players, but Bethesda saw that it has to be changed.
The new DOOM Eternal update kept Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM, but it added Denuvo Anti-Cheat (shortened to DAC onwards) as well to stop cheating in Battlemode (and to protect the campaign in the upcoming Invasion mode). However, you have to install DAC to even play the game’s campaign, offline. (You can’t play offline per se, as the Denuvo DRM will not allow you to launch the game in about two weeks if you don’t let it „call home.”)
Thanks to the DAC, the game tanked on Steam – in a week, after the announcement, DOOM Eternal got roughly 5600 negative reviews. id Software’s game had mostly positive reviews until that point, but now, it currently stands at Mixed recent reviews, and the players are right.
On Reddit, Marty Stratton, DOOM Eternal’s executive producer wrote the following: „Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration. With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update. As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater.
Through our investigation, we discovered and have fixed several crashes in our code related to customizable skins. We were also able to identify and fix several other memory-related crashes that should improve overall stability for players. All of these fixes will be in our next PC update. I’d like to note that some of these issues were very difficult to reproduce and we want to thank a number of our community members who worked directly with our engineers to identify and help reproduce these issues.
Finally, we believe the performance issues some players have experienced on PC are based on a code change we made around VRAM allocation. We have reverted this change in our next update and expect the game to perform as it did at launch,” he wrote.
Still, giving a Ring 0, kernel-level access to such software is a boneheaded approach to prevent cheating. Previously, Starforce DRM used the same approach. Also, can Stratton prove that the performance issues were NOT because of the extra DRM layer? The more software you need to run the game, the more your performance will tank.
So Denuvo Anti-Cheat is gone, but we all know it’s Bethesda – they will find a way to bring it back.
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