The company is aware of its image.
When gamers talk about Denuvo, they usually don't have much positive to say. The DRM system has quite a reputation, with most players nowadays accusing it of causing performance issues.
Irdeto, the company that bought Denuvo in 2018, is aware of its image, but its Chief Operating Officer of Video Games Steeve Huin believes those trying to soil Denuvo are wrong.
"In the pirating/cracking community, we're seen as evil because we're helping DRM exist and we're ensuring people make money out of games," Huin told Ars Technica.
He said the company's anti-piracy technologies protect publishers and make players' lives better:
"In the case of anti-tamper, I think there is a clear statement that there is no perceptible impact on gameplay because of the way we do things."
Huin said that public analysis of a game's performance with and without Denuvo is not very useful because "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."
So Irdeto is going to prove the opposition wrong in the future: it is working on a program that would provide two nearly identical versions of a game to trusted media outlets: one with protection and one without. Huin thinks this will make the press see that "the performance is comparable, identical... and that would provide something that would hopefully be trusted by the community."
As Ars Technica pointed out, only half of the 127 Denuvo-protected games released since 2020 have been cracked, according to a list on the Crackwatch subreddit. So it seems Denuvo is doing what it's supposed to, with or without issues.
"It's fair to say as well that we don't wait for a successful cheat or hack to start inventing the next time," Huin said. "We have a large amount of customers, many of the AAA [publishers] are our customers, and there are a lot of games released every year, so we have to be constantly evolving so we can help everyone. Waiting for a problem is usually not the best way of looking at things from a security perspective."
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