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New Denuvo version tries to protect game DLCs and microtransactions

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Why it matters: Regardless of how you feel about using DRM (Digital Rights Management) in video games, the industry seems to be moving even further in that direction. As free-to-play titles thrive and multiple story DLCs per game have become the norm for AAA titles, companies like Denuvo are building additional protections against digital piracy.

Most of our readers are familiar with Denuvo, one of the most hated DRM and anti-tamper software solutions used with varying degrees of success by video game publishers. Chances are you’ve played a Denuvo protected game in the past few years as there are currently over 200 titles using it.

From 2014 titles like Fifa 15 and Dragon Age: Inquisition to recent games like Deathloop, Battlefield 2042, Dying Light 2, and Monster Hunter Rise, they all include some form of piracy protection that supposedly helps publishers fight against people who want to play without to pay the asking price.

This week, the company behind the controversial DRM solution quietly launched a similar downloadable content (DLC) tool. The new technology, simply called SecureDLC, promises to prevent piracy of paid add-on content and other things that only need to be unlocked via a microtransaction.

Denuvo says additional game content is a major source of income for many game developers, especially those working on free-to-play titles. The company says it has become trivial for the average gamer to download and use tools that circumvent existing protections offered by popular gaming platforms such as Steam, Epic and Microsoft Store.

Reinhard Blaukovitsch, CEO of Denuvo, says SecureDLC is already in use thanks to its easy implementation. All it takes are a few tweaks to the platform AI that allow SecureDLC to act as an additional validator for all DLC unlock requests.

He also notes that “Denuvo has become a one-stop shop for game developers to ensure the safety of their games against cheating, sabotage and piracy and to protect the gaming experience. Our current customers, large and small, We’re ecstatic with the results and we’re happy to help them maximize revenue and also enable new business models for these games that they put so much effort into building.”

While this is good news for many game developers, some gamers will no doubt be less than thrilled – and with good reason. A simple issue with Denuvo’s servers can prevent you from accessing some of your games, while the anti-tamper software can be finicky about state-of-the-art hardware. We hope that Denuvo can prevent these problems from happening again in the future.

Masthead Credit: Sean Do

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