id Software Executive Producer Marty Stratton has announced that Denuvo Anti-Cheat will be removed from Doom Eternal, just one week after it was introduced.
In case you missed our prior coverage, Irdeto, the software company that owns Denuvo, announced Denuvo Anti-Cheat, and added it to Doom Eternal.
For those unfamiliar, Denuvo DRM has been criticized for allegations of its effectiveness. These include the need for a constant and uninterrupted online connection even on single-player games, and allegations of causing severe performance inhibition.
Concerns were further exacerbated due to the software being installed at kernel-level. Riot Games’ Valorant drew criticisms for their kernel-based anti-cheat software, due to concerns with privacy, and granting greater access to a user’s PC if the game was hacked. The software was later updated to grant users greater control over when it was active.
Bethesda later stated that the development team were investigating reports of crashes and performance issues.
This came after a deluge of negative reviews and claims of refunds being denied, firewalls blocking the installation of the anti-cheat software as malware, allegedly breaking anti-consumer laws of several nations, making the game unplayable on Linux (through third-party software), and general outrage.
Now, id Software Executive Producer Marty Stratton has issued a statement on r/Doom in a thread titled “Latest Information on Update 1 & Anti-Cheat“.
Therein, Stratton reiterates the team are “looking into the reports of instability and performance degradation for some users,” along with users concerns of Denuvo Anti-Cheat.
“As is often the case,” Stratton explains, “things are not as clear-cut as they may seem, so I’d like to include the latest information on the actions we’re taking, as well as offer some context around the decisions we’ve made.” He also explains how id Software’s motivations to use Denuvo Anti-Cheat were numerous, including:
“Protect BATTLEMODE players from cheaters now, but also establish consistent anti-cheat systems and processes as we look ahead to more competitive initiatives on our BATTLEMODE roadmap
Establish cheat protection in the campaign now in preparation for the future launch of Invasion – which is a blend of campaign and multiplayer
Kernel-level integrations are typically the most effective in preventing cheating
Denuvo’s integration met our standards for security and privacy
Players were disappointed on DOOM (2016) with our delay in adding anti-cheat technology to protect that game’s multiplayer”
In spite of all this however, Stratton explains that id Software are preparing a PC-Only Update 1.1 that “will be removing the anti-cheat technology,” due to be released “within the week.”
Continuing, Stratton explains that while they are examining “any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed.”
Stratton also states that they will “ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater.”
In addition, Stratton dismisses the claims that Bethesda made a decision to force Denuvo Anti-Cheat into Doom Eternal with no consultation from id Software (and purely due to the reasons outlined earlier).
He also dismisses Denuvo Anti-Cheat’s removal as being due to the software’s quality. “Many have unfortunately related the performance and stability issues introduced in Update 1 to the introduction of anti-cheat. They are not related,” Stratton claims. This was instead due to customizable skins and VRAM allocation.
“Through our investigation, we discovered and have fixed several crashes in our code related to customizable skins. We were also able to identify and fix a number of other memory-related crashes that should improve overall stability for players. All of these fixes will be in our next PC update. I’d like to note that some of these issues were very difficult to reproduce and we want to thank a number of our community members who worked directly with our engineers to identify and help reproduce these issues.
Finally, we believe the performance issues some players have experienced on PC are based on a code change we made around VRAM allocation. We have reverted this change in our next update and expect the game to perform as it did at launch.”
Doom Eternal is available via Windows PC (via Bethesda, and Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and 2020 for Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)