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Denuvo: Protection is worth it even if it just lasts a day

Eye-opening stats back up argument for anti-piracy measures.

  • Text: Jonas Mäki
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The anti-pirate protection system, Denuvo, is fairly well known amongst PC gamers and it's often not very popular as it sometimes claims so much power it actually has a noticeable effect on the experience when games are played on slower computers. Also, it usually only lasts a couple of weeks at most before it's cracked, and sometimes only a day. However, according to the Denuvo owner Irdeto, it's still worth including the protection for distributors:

"The most critical part of the release cycle is the first 14 days as the majority of activations occur during this period. For highly anticipated titles, this could include up to 80% of sales, 50% of which are within the first four days."

They use an unknown major sports game that lacked Denuvo as an example of how very rampant the piracy can be on PC without the system:

"Irdeto tracked the downloads of a major sports title on P2P networks after the title, which did not include anti-tamper protection, was cracked on the same day of its release. During the first two weeks, Irdeto detected 355,664 torrent downloads of the illegal copy of the title. Given the retail price of the game, this puts the total potential loss of revenue from P2P downloads at $21,336,283."

Even if the protection is cracked on the very first day or even the very first hour, Irdeto still claims it's worth having an anti-hacking measurement (because of course they do):

"The research also found that the first day of release alone is crucial for the protection of a AAA title, as 12% of the illegal P2P downloads occurred within the first day of the cracked copy appearing on the P2P networks (and a substantial number of these in the first hour)."

Do you think Denuvo and this type of piracy prevention are a necessary evil or is the video game business better off without it?