The release of Back 4 Blood is hotly anticipated, with just over a week to go until the game’s October 12 release date. However, developer Turtle Rock recently made a controversial addition to the game in the form of Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM. As spotted by NME, the game’s SteamDB page indicates that the change was made on September 28 with no comment or update from the developer.
Digital rights management is something PC gamers have lived with for decades, with the likes of Steam making it more palatable and storefronts like GOG offering DRM-free options of many current and legacy titles.
Despite this, Denuvo has garnered an infamous reputation for hampering the performance of games. The most recent egregious example of this was in the PC port of Resident Evil: Village, which saw pirated versions of the game without Denuvo running with far fewer performance problems.
However, not all forms of Denuvo are created equal with Doom: Eternal, widely recognised as one of the best performing PC games ever, integrating the DRM software with seemingly little issue. Additionally, the software has become something of a scapegoat, with it previously being blamed for issues in Deathloop, which later turned out to be unrelated.
This is not to say that there aren’t other instances of Denuvo causing problems, like the one described earlier with Resident Evil: Village. Humankind developer Amplitude opted to remove the software a month prior to the game’s launch, stating, “Denuvo should never impact player performance, and we don’t want to sacrifice quality for you guys.” For those patient enough, there’s a storied history of developers like Capcom eventually removing Denuvo from its titles, like Resident Evil 3, some time after their release.