Fans ask a PC game to drop Denuvo—and dev agrees, blames “performance impact” – Ars Technica

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A video game logo and a company logo are combined on smashed pavement.
Enlarge / The Humankind hand slams down on Denuvo in this week’s latest story of DRM woe.

For years, PC gamers have wondered out loud whether antipiracy solutions like Denuvo get in the way of game performance, since the solutions tend to operate in the background in search of piracy-related flags. Denuvo-related game tests in the wild have ranged from inconclusive to damning.

This week, that debate gets worse for the makers of Denuvo: a video game developer has made the rare move of abandoning the DRM platform for its upcoming game’s PC version—and it squarely blames Denuvo-related performance issues for the decision.

Amplitude Studios, a French studio known for PC-exclusive 4X strategy games, had previously announced that its next game, Humankind, would ship with a Denuvo implementation in August 2021. This prompted a post titled “The day Amplitude broke my heart” on Amplitude’s official forum, with a fan declaring their love of prior Amplitude strategy games and then expressing their disappointment that Humankind had a Denuvo tag on its Steam page.

After pointing to their disagreement with Denuvo’s practices, including the block of offline-only gameplay, the fan offered a reasonably levelheaded plea: “To be fair, I totally understand why Denuvo was chosen (probably by [Amplitude studio owner] Sega). I understand how important it is
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