Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact

An interview on Ars Technica titled "Denuvo wants to convince you its DRM isn’t "evil'" chats with Steeve Huin, COO of Irdeto, owner of the Denuvo DRM software. The conversation acknowledges the distrust the gaming community has for Denuvo, but ignores the complaints of legitimate users and blames pirates. "In the pirating/cracking community, we're seen as evil because we're helping DRM exist" Huin explains. "And we're ensuring people make money out of games." Ars notes the truth of the latter point: "Despite the very public performance concerns, major game publishers have continued to support Denuvo over the years for a very simple reason: It delays the release of piracy-enabling cracks—and sometimes stops them completely." Legitimate customers counter this by complaining that they are being punished for the misdeeds of others. The thrust of the interview is to reassure gamers that Denuvo DRM has zero impact. When confronted with examples where game performance demonstrably improved after Denuvo was dropped, Huin says this is comparing apples to oranges, saying "gamers [almost] never get access to the same version of [a game] protected and unprotected. There might be over the lifetime of the game a protected and unprotected version, but these are not comparable because these are different builds over six months, many bug fixes, etc., which could make it better or worse." The solution he proposes is to allow "independent benchmarks" using a test case Denuvo will supply:
After years of public uproar over Denuvo's alleged performance impact, though, Huin said he knows much of the gaming community won't take him at his word. "Our voice is unfortunately not sufficient to convince people because we're not trusted in their mind as a starting point in that debate," he said.

To get around that mistrust, Huin said Irdeto is working on a program that would provide two nearly identical versions of a game to trusted media outlets: one with Denuvo protection and one without. After that program rolls out, hopefully sometime in the next few months, Huin hopes independent benchmarks will allow the tech press to "see for yourself that the performance is comparable, identical... and that would provide something that would hopefully be trusted by the community."
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47.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact
Jul 10, 2023, 17:48
47.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact Jul 10, 2023, 17:48
Jul 10, 2023, 17:48
 
RogueSix wrote on Jul 10, 2023, 05:05:
Denuvo is a smashing success.

How is any of this a "smashing success"?

- Countless studies consistently and convincingly demonstrated "lost sales" are a myth, even those funded by the RIAA/MAFIAA/Game industry.

So you don't sell more when "protected".

- Those same studies showed there's a paradoxical causal link leading to more sales when a game is pirated.

So not only do you not sell more, you sell LESS when "protected".

- A lot of people avoid Denuvo like the plague and won't buy the game at all.

So you sell EVEN LESS when "protected".

- Extensive testing has shown it affects performance enough to sometimes triple load times, introduce horrible stutters and affect overall performance enough to be noticeable on a majority of machines ( not everyone sports only the top end ).

Don't know if it has any effect on sales, but if there is any, it can't be good.

*****

So if anything, all Denuvo does is lower sales and screws over paying customers. Denuvo is pure grift that sells illusory peace of mind, nothing more.

This comment was edited on Jul 10, 2023, 20:43.
46.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact
Jul 10, 2023, 05:05
46.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact Jul 10, 2023, 05:05
Jul 10, 2023, 05:05
 
Slashman wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 19:41:
We must protect those critical publisher/shareholder profits.

Yes, "we" do because "we" want those developers and publishers to be able to make more games for us in the future . Non-intrusive DRM like Denuvo is great to achieve that goal. Unless you specifically look it up, you won't even notice if and when a game has Denuvo on board and Denuvo has an established track record of being an excellent, very effective protection during the critical release window.
Many games have not been cracked for many months. A day zero crack is the very rare exception. Denuvo is a smashing success. That's why publishers keep using it.
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45.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 10, 2023, 03:12
45.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 10, 2023, 03:12
Jul 10, 2023, 03:12
 
RogueSix wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 11:46:

UbiSoft's annual PC revenue last year was €313 million. UbiSoft only have their own games (pretty much every single own with Denuvo on board... at least the newer ones) on UbiSoft Connect so they have a very limited catalog to generate those €313 million.
GOG has a catalog of over 7,300 games and they generate the above mentioned €40 million per year. That's why I said "chicken shit" above.


That’s why I own every major GOG title and not a single UbiSoft game
44.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 19:41
44.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact Jul 9, 2023, 19:41
Jul 9, 2023, 19:41
 
It certainly is weird to hear folks championing DRM in any form when the line of thought used to be: "I'll only grudgingly tolerate Steam's DRM for now but they are the devil."

We must protect those critical publisher/shareholder profits.
43.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 18:53
43.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact Jul 9, 2023, 18:53
Jul 9, 2023, 18:53
 
The weight of evidence of Denuvo tanking performance is crushing by now. Not only in average FPS, but also in stutters and load times.

Everyone who kept themselves in the know of the extensive testing that has been done on title after title and the consistent results of this testing are acutely aware of it at this point.

"And we're ensuring people make money out of games."

No you're not, an also crushing weight of evidence has demonstrated for more than 20 years in countless studies and meta studies that "lost sales" are a myth, and not only that, but that there is a causal link between piracy leading to MORE SALES.

You're actually HINDERING sales Denuvo, crippling performance and hurting the paying customers. That's all your shameless grifting is doing.
42.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 14:31
42.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Impact Jul 9, 2023, 14:31
Jul 9, 2023, 14:31
 
My anecdotal evidence shows that Denuvo's impact on performance with my setups is negligible at worst. As for a general viewpoint, almost all of the 'examples' I've seen from most people who like to trot out over Denuvo slamming performance ends up being because the developer/publisher implements it upon a layer of their own DRM (see: Capcom) or because of a shoddy implementation overall.

Back to my anecdotal evidence, for every game that I have some form of disruption due to Denuvo, I had at least another 10 that don't have a lick of an issue. Of course, with PC setups being infinitely configurable, my experience is nowhere near the same experience that someone else could have, but at some point either I'm the lucky unicorn or there's something else going on.
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41.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 12:24
41.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 12:24
Jul 9, 2023, 12:24
 
There are benchmark videos on youtube that show performance before and after developer removed denuvo or denuvo version vs cracked version. The most consistent effect is that denuvo significantly increases loading times. And SOMETIMES it also decreases framerates. It also balloons the sizes of .exes which is less of factor but it's true nonetheless. Increasing loading times is already a bridge too far in my opinion and lower fps is just the kiss of death.
40.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 11:46
40.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 11:46
Jul 9, 2023, 11:46
 
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 05:00:
RogueSix wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 01:32:
Also, CD Projekt might have a higher market capitalization than UbiSoft at €3.22 billion vs. UbiSoft's €3.03 billion at the moment (not exactly a huge lead by CDPR in the first place) but otherwise UbiSoft is a MUCH bigger company than CD Projekt, of course.

I mean, please, no contest at all:

- Ubi has 20,000+ employees (2022) vs. CD Projekt's 1292 employees (June 2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 15 times the employee count compared to CDPR
- Ubi has 26 studios across 18 countries (2021) vs. CD Projekt's four studios plus two branch offices (2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 6 times more global studios than CDPR
- Ubi revenue in 2022: $2.47 billion vs. CD Projekt's $213.5 million --> UbiSoft's annual revenue is more than 10 times that of CD Projekt's

Market capitalization is simply number of stocks multiplied by their valuation. CD Projekt leads in market capitalization. Investors attribute more "value" to the CD Projekt stock because there is a potential story of further expansion and growth. That is all. Otherwise, CD Projekt doesn't even begin to compare to UbiSoft in actual "size".
This proves that it's not bad for business to release DRM-free games.

What proves what?

GOG's share of CD Projekt's total annual revenue is approximately €40 million which is chicken shit. GOG has been stagnating for years. They have huge peaks when one of CD Projekt's own games is released like TW3 + expansions or Cyberpunk but in "normal" years they stagnate at ~€40 million annual revenue.

UbiSoft's annual PC revenue last year was €313 million. UbiSoft only have their own games (pretty much every single own with Denuvo on board... at least the newer ones) on UbiSoft Connect so they have a very limited catalog to generate those €313 million.
GOG has a catalog of over 7,300 games and they generate the above mentioned €40 million per year. That's why I said "chicken shit" above.

I would be very careful regarding citing anything here as "proof" Wink .
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39.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 11:35
39.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 11:35
Jul 9, 2023, 11:35
 
For Amplitude Studios...they were going to release Humankind with Denuvo and the playerbase protested. During all the back and forth, a developer did say that they were having performance issues with it in the game. That seemed to be a major reason why they decided not to launch with it. Now for their next game, Endless Dungeon they are using Denuvo again...they may have done some extra work to minimize the impact so it may not be removed.

I think it is highly unlikely that the performance impact is negligible. And developers at the least have to do some hard work to make sure it isn't cratering performance. Some may be more successful than others depending on the type of the game, and the requirements for what form of DRM Denuvo is integrated.

I'm of the opinion that is just isn't worth it past the opening weeks of a game launching...it should then be removed...but many publishers are not doing that, especially not SEGA.

The notion though that no huge games would ever exist if it wasn't for DRM is laughable. When a game is good, it sells and sells well. Is it pirated? Sure...but if you think you were going to get the sale of a dirt poor youth in Bulgaria if you just stopped them from being able to copy the game then you are insane.

I pirated games when I was younger...and as I got older and could afford to buy my own, I stopped. It is a as simple as that. There is no way that DRM would have made me and my friends buy more games. The money just wasn't there. And I suspect it is like that for a large portion of the population...maybe even more now that we are post pandemic and heading into even more uncertain times financially. What is more detrimental to games is the number of games coming out and the fact that the market is finite.
38.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 10:53
38.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 10:53
Jul 9, 2023, 10:53
 
I've learned to wait mostly due to the game industry itself - whether it's a denuvo, buggy launch, missing features and I get rewarded because it makes all of these games so much cheaper and affordable too.
37.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 10:49
37.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 10:49
Jul 9, 2023, 10:49
 
Darks wrote on Jul 8, 2023, 22:57:
.... ...

You seriously don't have a clue how Denuvo works do you?
If their servers are offline, you cant play your game!! Because the DRM cant call home.
So Tell me, what's the difference huh?
Do you seriously have a clue how things work ?

The always online option is a developers' choice as there are Denuvo versions with 1 time only online activation, periodic activation (once per day, etc) or always online.

- Most server dependent games -without Denuvo, no reason for it- don't get eventually an offline version, and just die because of the cost inherent in modifying their base code.

- Making Denuvo dependent games Denuvoless or changing the online requirement is a trivial matter for the devs: just an update.

Satisfied man?
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36.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 10:01
36.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 10:01
Jul 9, 2023, 10:01
 
Pepe wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 07:45:
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 05:00:
RogueSix wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 01:32:
Also, CD Projekt might have a higher market capitalization than UbiSoft at €3.22 billion vs. UbiSoft's €3.03 billion at the moment (not exactly a huge lead by CDPR in the first place) but otherwise UbiSoft is a MUCH bigger company than CD Projekt, of course.

I mean, please, no contest at all:

- Ubi has 20,000+ employees (2022) vs. CD Projekt's 1292 employees (June 2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 15 times the employee count compared to CDPR
- Ubi has 26 studios across 18 countries (2021) vs. CD Projekt's four studios plus two branch offices (2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 6 times more global studios than CDPR
- Ubi revenue in 2022: $2.47 billion vs. CD Projekt's $213.5 million --> UbiSoft's annual revenue is more than 10 times that of CD Projekt's

Market capitalization is simply number of stocks multiplied by their valuation. CD Projekt leads in market capitalization. Investors attribute more "value" to the CD Projekt stock because there is a potential story of further expansion and growth. That is all. Otherwise, CD Projekt doesn't even begin to compare to UbiSoft in actual "size".
This proves that it's not bad for business to release DRM-free games.

exept that GoG is not that profitable, not sure in last couple of years but in 2021 they lost money and had to cut staff https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/29/22808199/cd-projekt-gog-losses-restructuring-earnings-2021

Did you just use a pandemic year as a metric for what's normal in an industry?

From https://www.cdprojekt.com/en/investors/result-center/

PROFIT (LOSS) for GOG
2022 - 5,248
2021 - (29,791)
2020 - 20,655
2019 - 2,983
2018 - 30
2017 - 15,998

GOG, like virtually every other industry, suffered during the pandemic, but otherwise is a perfectly valid business. It averages between 3 and 10 percent of the operating profit of CDPR (not the Net profit because you can't compare a publicly-traded corporation with a wholly owned subsidiary).

GOG is doing just fine.
35.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 09:25
35.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 09:25
Jul 9, 2023, 09:25
 
While he does have a point that you really can't compare performance of the initial (usually buggy) release of a game that has Denuvo, to a mature version of the game, say 6 months later, without Denuvo, there still have been plenty of benchmarks done between the non-Denuvo version and the immediate preceding version that shows some performance hit.

I certainly wouldn't trust them to release an example that they have 'massaged' to make sure there's as little performance difference as possible. That's hardly a fair test.

All that said, I have never had a problem with DRM. It's a fact of life. For a publisher, those first few weeks after release are important, and nothing sucks worse than having your game cracked in the first week of release, so I understand why they use it.

If there is a performance issue with a new game, it is far more likely that the major culprit is lack of optimization. However, something like Denuvo HAS to cause SOME performance hit to do what it does, and those who will notice it more are people with low end systems.

I really am of the opinion that most people nowadays who do install cracked software are likely never to buy it anyway. I've certainly installed cracked games in the past myself, as a way to see if I'll even like the game (not sure how anyone could trust any kind of cracked installer nowadays), and sometimes I bought the game if I liked it. I am happy to see more publishers returning to the idea of releasing a demo.

And yeah, I do buy a lot of my all time fav games from GOG, just to have an offline non-DRM version, if only as a backup. I do live on Steam, though, and I do want my few friends to see what I'm playing and maybe ask to join, or send me an invite to join them. That is the social niche that Steam does address.
"Turns out I’m 'woke.' All along, I thought I was just compassionate, kind, and good at history. "
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34.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 07:45
34.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 07:45
Jul 9, 2023, 07:45
 
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 05:00:
RogueSix wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 01:32:
Also, CD Projekt might have a higher market capitalization than UbiSoft at €3.22 billion vs. UbiSoft's €3.03 billion at the moment (not exactly a huge lead by CDPR in the first place) but otherwise UbiSoft is a MUCH bigger company than CD Projekt, of course.

I mean, please, no contest at all:

- Ubi has 20,000+ employees (2022) vs. CD Projekt's 1292 employees (June 2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 15 times the employee count compared to CDPR
- Ubi has 26 studios across 18 countries (2021) vs. CD Projekt's four studios plus two branch offices (2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 6 times more global studios than CDPR
- Ubi revenue in 2022: $2.47 billion vs. CD Projekt's $213.5 million --> UbiSoft's annual revenue is more than 10 times that of CD Projekt's

Market capitalization is simply number of stocks multiplied by their valuation. CD Projekt leads in market capitalization. Investors attribute more "value" to the CD Projekt stock because there is a potential story of further expansion and growth. That is all. Otherwise, CD Projekt doesn't even begin to compare to UbiSoft in actual "size".
This proves that it's not bad for business to release DRM-free games.

exept that GoG is not that profitable, not sure in last couple of years but in 2021 they lost money and had to cut staff https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/29/22808199/cd-projekt-gog-losses-restructuring-earnings-2021
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33.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 05:00
33.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 05:00
Jul 9, 2023, 05:00
 
RogueSix wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 01:32:
Also, CD Projekt might have a higher market capitalization than UbiSoft at €3.22 billion vs. UbiSoft's €3.03 billion at the moment (not exactly a huge lead by CDPR in the first place) but otherwise UbiSoft is a MUCH bigger company than CD Projekt, of course.

I mean, please, no contest at all:

- Ubi has 20,000+ employees (2022) vs. CD Projekt's 1292 employees (June 2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 15 times the employee count compared to CDPR
- Ubi has 26 studios across 18 countries (2021) vs. CD Projekt's four studios plus two branch offices (2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 6 times more global studios than CDPR
- Ubi revenue in 2022: $2.47 billion vs. CD Projekt's $213.5 million --> UbiSoft's annual revenue is more than 10 times that of CD Projekt's

Market capitalization is simply number of stocks multiplied by their valuation. CD Projekt leads in market capitalization. Investors attribute more "value" to the CD Projekt stock because there is a potential story of further expansion and growth. That is all. Otherwise, CD Projekt doesn't even begin to compare to UbiSoft in actual "size".
This proves that it's not bad for business to release DRM-free games.
32.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 02:21
Prez
 
32.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 02:21
Jul 9, 2023, 02:21
 Prez
 
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 00:46:
Prez wrote on Jul 8, 2023, 21:15:
mega game corps are not going to release their games DRM free. That will not change any more than the sun coming up tomorrow.
CD Projekt, which is bigger than Ubisoft, releases their games DRM free: Cyberpunk, The Witcher 3...

As has already been pointed out, CDPR is absolutely NOT bigger than Ubisoft. They are extremely small by comparison. But until they completely destroyed my faith in them, I would give nothing but praise to them, and every release was a day 1 purchase. Now they are no different from EA or Activision, just not as big.
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31.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 02:09
Jim
31.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 02:09
Jul 9, 2023, 02:09
Jim
 
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 00:46:

CD Projekt, which is bigger than Ubisoft, releases their games DRM free: Cyberpunk, The Witcher 3...
CDPR cannot really compare, they have made a name for themselves as the underdog player willing to release their code DRM free. As such they built a lot of good will for themselves. Not sure how much of that is left, but people used to sing their praises left and right.
30.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 01:59
30.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 01:59
Jul 9, 2023, 01:59
 
drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 00:46:
CD Projekt, which is bigger than Ubisoft, releases their games DRM free: Cyberpunk, The Witcher 3...

They get my $ because of it and Ubisoft doesn't, not that anyone cares. I don't pirate games. Vote with ballots and my wallet, but I'm a loner with different experiences and opinions than the majority, and the world is happy ignoring my existence. As long as there are enough whales left to fleece with microtransactions/season pass/DLC nothing I think or do maters.
29.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 01:32
29.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 01:32
Jul 9, 2023, 01:32
 
yonder wrote on Jul 8, 2023, 21:33:
For every Red Dead 2 that's worth the DRM they use (which honestly is much better than most DRM)...

What? The fucking Rockstar launcher and account requirement is an atrocity of the highest order. I'd much rather take a Denuvo protected game where the anti-tamper stuff gets installed silently in the background and does not bother me with anything at all.

I've played tons of games where I only found out randomly after the fact that they were using Denuvo. Unless you pay particular attention to it by reading the fine print on a store page, you won't even notice if/when a game has Denuvo.
But the Rockstar launcher.... yeah, you'll notice that piece of shit every time you boot up the game, alright. It's a mystery to me how it's supposed to be "much better" than other DRM.

drloser wrote on Jul 9, 2023, 00:46:
Prez wrote on Jul 8, 2023, 21:15:
mega game corps are not going to release their games DRM free. That will not change any more than the sun coming up tomorrow.
CD Projekt, which is bigger than Ubisoft, releases their games DRM free: Cyberpunk, The Witcher 3...

[continuing your sentence]

... on their own storefront and to promote that exact same storefront, the main USP of which, since its inception in 2008, is DRM-free games.

Also, CD Projekt might have a higher market capitalization than UbiSoft at €3.22 billion vs. UbiSoft's €3.03 billion at the moment (not exactly a huge lead by CDPR in the first place) but otherwise UbiSoft is a MUCH bigger company than CD Projekt, of course.

I mean, please, no contest at all:

- Ubi has 20,000+ employees (2022) vs. CD Projekt's 1292 employees (June 2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 15 times the employee count compared to CDPR
- Ubi has 26 studios across 18 countries (2021) vs. CD Projekt's four studios plus two branch offices (2023) --> UbiSoft has more than 6 times more global studios than CDPR
- Ubi revenue in 2022: $2.47 billion vs. CD Projekt's $213.5 million --> UbiSoft's annual revenue is more than 10 times that of CD Projekt's

Market capitalization is simply number of stocks multiplied by their valuation. CD Projekt leads in market capitalization. Investors attribute more "value" to the CD Projekt stock because there is a potential story of further expansion and growth. That is all. Otherwise, CD Projekt doesn't even begin to compare to UbiSoft in actual "size".

This comment was edited on Jul 9, 2023, 02:12.
Threadcrapper Extraordinaire
28.
 
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact
Jul 9, 2023, 00:46
28.
Re: Denuvo on DRM's Performance Impact Jul 9, 2023, 00:46
Jul 9, 2023, 00:46
 
Prez wrote on Jul 8, 2023, 21:15:
mega game corps are not going to release their games DRM free. That will not change any more than the sun coming up tomorrow.
CD Projekt, which is bigger than Ubisoft, releases their games DRM free: Cyberpunk, The Witcher 3...
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