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Denuvo expands into anti-cheat protection

Denuvo will soon offer anti-cheat protection, and the company hopes this might turn its popular reputation around

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Denuvo, currently the most hated name in videogame DRM, has plans to expand into a new form of gaming protection: anti-cheat. The company’s cheat protections are scheduled to launch soon, but we don’t know what games will make use of it or exactly what sort of measures it will take.

A press release from Irdeto, the parent company of the DRM-maker, says “Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat technology, which is soon to be launched as a full end-to-end solution, will prevent hackers in multiplayer games from manipulating and distorting data and code to gain an advantage over other gamers or bypass in-game micro-transactions. This will prevent dilution of the value of the game for the user and the game studio.”

This comes along with the announcement that Irdeto is joining the Esports Integrity Coalition, a group of partners ranging from ESL to Intel which aim to stop cheating, match-fixing, and doping in esports. The release notes specifically notes that esports-connected cheating “can distort virtual in-game economies and can be used to manipulate or bypass in-game micro-transactions” – fields Denuvo has some experience in.

Calling out your ability to protect microtransactions might not be the most endearing way to frame your new anti-cheat measures to consumers, but Denuvo’s reputation is perhaps too far gone among end users for it to matter much either way. Among the games it’s meant to protect from piracy, Denuvo has been unusually effective – not perfect, but delaying cracks by months rather than days certainly puts it above most forms of DRM.

However, protecting publisher interests hasn’t endeared Denuvo to gamers (or pirates) in the meantime. Reports about the software’s impact on game performance remain inconclusive, but concerns about long-term availability of protected games are understandable.

Irdeto’s Lucas Catranis tells PC Games Insider that “We understand that it’s going to take some time to turn what some gamers are antagonistic about into something they trust and are happy to have. When we get more involved in the anti-cheat side of things, people will really understand the value that we can bring to the table.”

That’s going to be an uphill battle, to say the least.