Don’t like Denuvo? Fine, but Piracy Is Not the Solution

Here’s what bothers me the most about software piracy: a great number of people who engage in this activity seem to love creating excuses for their behavior. The latest and greatest of them is that they have a strong dislike for Sony DADC Austria‘s successful Denuvo anti-tamper technology, a solution that many users have branded as a disgraceful piece of software that hurts legit consumers. While I can completely understand their dislike for Denuvo, I can’t agree with it being used as an excuse to pirate a videogame. If I disagree with the choices made by a certain publisher, I can ignore their releases and that may send a strong message if enough consumers do the same thing. Pirating their games is a different thing, however, as the only message it sends is that there is a big userbase interested in that publisher’s output, but unwilling to spend money on it, so the only logical thing a big corporation can do is looking for a stronger DRM solution to protect their interests.

The Witcher 3Software pirates don’t help the DRM-free cause, they are its biggest enemies. Yes, The Witcher 3 sold a ton of copies even though CD Projekt RED chose to release it in a completely DRM-free manner. But an enormous number of copies were illegally downloaded as well, and we don’t have any way of checking whether the people who pirated the ambitious open world action RPG only wanted to use the ill gotten goods as a sort of demo or not (for example). I think it’s fair to say that the reason behind the game’s success was its excellency, and not that its developers chose to release it without using a DRM solution.

InsideBig companies like CD Projekt RED can take the loss of a few million copies illegally downloaded by Internet pirates, but small indie developers can’t, and they will end up looking for a way to protect their work, even if it costs them money and generates some backlash from the gaming community. Of course that some people will argue that big publishers like Electronic Arts or Bethesda can take the hit from pirated games, but let’s be real here, those corporations are ruled by share holders who NEED to see that something is being done to maximize profits, and without hard facts pointing at losses generated by a DRM solution, they will stick to the things they know.

So yeah, if you are a gamer with a strong moral compass who dislikes the concept of copy protection solutions like Denuvo, it’s perfectly fine to boycott games/publishers that choose to implement this technology in their releases. But one thing is boycotting a game or a publisher, and a very different thing is pirating their releases. Want to send a strong message to the Bethesdas, Electronic Arts or Ubisofts of this world? Ignore their work. Piracy is not a real solution, and illegally downloading a game only makes publishers think that they need to find a better DRM provider (and one that may end up hurting legit customers more than the solutions already available).

11 thoughts on “Don’t like Denuvo? Fine, but Piracy Is Not the Solution

  1. Or you can buy the game and apply no-DRM crack (if cracked). This method is being used since StarForce and SecuROM days.

    • While I can’t comment on the legality of that solution, I believe that once you buy a game, you are free to do anything you wish, as long as it doesn’t affect other users or the publisher. As long as you aren’t pirating the game (playing it without paying for it) then you are fine.

  2. who pirates any more?with g2a and cd where you can get AAA titles for $35 at launch who needs to pirate?

    • People who live in places where ~$350 is a typical monthly salary and $300 is your rent, which is not even expensive at the place near your work.
      Or if you’re a high school kid, you work the whole summer in night shift, and earn $250 for 2 months, and your parents cant buy you games, or too much pc hardware.
      Ofc there wasnt g2a when i was that age, but yea, both were me, and there are places with worse salary / game price ratios. I do pirate games still.
      Games nowadays can be extremely unoptimized, buggy, or simply just turns our to be not your style.
      Like Forza Horizon is basically unplayable online for me due to server side lags, is badly optimized, and extremely pricey. Still bought it on the discount. Im gonna buy Andromeda aswell, but was playing a cracked version last week.
      I say piracy is the answer for the lack of demos. If i feel like a game deserves it, Im gonna buy it anyways, but spending even $35 on 1-2 hours of mediocre fun wont work out for me.

      • While I agree with your point about the lack of demos, I don’t think that we are entitled to the latest releases, so waiting for sales or buying on alternative stores is a good solution (and I say this as someone who lives in Argentina, a country with a pretty screwed up economy that often gets the shaft when it comes to digital distribution and retail games)

        Steam’s refund policies also let people try games without having to commit to buying them, but it’s not a perfect solution because it forces the user to purchase the game on the Steam store.

  3. Agreed with this article. Piracy isn’t a solution to boycott DRM.
    But, I don’t think that DRM is the real problem here. If it is, then provide DRM free games (I know not all the latest and best games are DRM free), and very few publishers publish their games on GOG. Steam DRM protection is what everyone is agreed for, but we gamers don’t want Denuvo as DRM.
    I don’t think anyone stops using pirated games, because everyone like freebies. But, once a unbreakable DRM is made, people are forced to buy the genuine copies of games, because their aren’t any pirated games.

    I don’t know how some group of hackers are able to crack a software solution developed by a group of experts. Make something like windows only games. See, how Forza Horizon 3 (only a bypass is available which isn’t good and too complicated), Recore and other windows only titles aren’t cracked yet. This is what we are waiting.

  4. Pingback: RiME Has Been Cracked, Developers Will Drop Denuvo | Gaming on PC

  5. I disagree.
    Firstly Piracy is a solution that allows people to play the game despite Denuvo without paying for it and rewarding the use of Denuvo.

    Secondly piracy of Denuvo games proves how ineffective Denuvo damages confidence in it, and the sooner they take Denuvo out of games the sooner we can play them at peak performance.

    The Industry is incorporating free to play mobile app game models into their $60 games, they want us to pay $60 for a game then pay another $70 to upgrade it to the full version months after it’s come out (anyone who buys it on launch day gets an inferior version, stop buying games at launch) and they’re even trying to sell us “boosts” to speed up the grind when they engineered the freaking grind.

    And on top of that they want me to run Denuvo, which slows my system to a crawl and makes my fans work overtime, yeah Piracy is the solution, when pirates disable denuvo games run better and you don’t have to reward companies for using it.

    • My problem with that line of thought is that we don’t have an inherent right to play these games. If you disagree with the dev/publisher’s business model/choice of DRM, that’s perfectly fine, but you shouldn’t pirate their stuff. There are countless other games that don’t feature Denuvo and could use your support.

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