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iD Software Removing Denuvo Anti-Cheat from PC Version After Backlash

Doom Eternal fans were not pleased recently when iD Software, the creator of the game, released a patch recently that installed Denuvo’s Anti-Cheating software on players’ PCs. The anti-cheat software has root level driver access to PCs it is installed on and has been linked to a number of bugs, performance issues and even ruined systems in some cases.

Doom Eternal’s executive producer, Marty Stratton posted on Reddit yesterday to address the controversy and confirmed that Denuvo will be removed in the next software patch:

I want to provide our PC community the latest information on a number of topics related to Update 1, which we released this past Thursday. Our team has been looking into the reports of instability and performance degradation for some users and we’ve also seen the concerns around our inclusion of Denuvo Anti-Cheat. As is often the case, 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. We are preparing and testing PC-Only Update 1.1 that includes the changes and fixes noted below. We hope to have this rolled-out to players within a week.

Our team’s original decision to include Denuvo Anti-Cheat in Update 1 was based on a number of factors:

  • 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

Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration. With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update. As we examine 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, as well as 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.

It is important to note that our decision to include anti-cheat was guided by nothing other than the factors and goals I’ve outlined above – all driven by our team at id Software.  I have seen speculation online that Bethesda (our parent company and publisher) is forcing these or other decisions on us, and it’s simply untrue.  It’s also worth noting that our decision to remove the anti-cheat software is not based on the quality of the Denuvo Anti-Cheat solution. Many have unfortunately related the performance and stability issues introduced in Update 1 to the introduction of anti-cheat. They are not related.

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.

Please stay tuned to the official DOOM Eternal community channels for more on the roll-out of this update. As always, thank you for your passion and commitment to DOOM Eternal.

Marty Stratton
Executive Producer, DOOM Eternal

Too little, too late? Cheating has always been a big problem for multiplayer games and especially on PC but ruining the game experience for players isn’t the solution. Few things can ruin a FPS multiplayer experience faster than someone with infinite ammo, invincibility and invisibility (I’m talking to you, PlayStation Live, about CoD: Black Ops) except maybe breaking the game itself for players who bought it.

Cheating has been a problem since at least the Halo 1 days and has the ability to really take the fun out of multiplayer experiences. Intrusive anti-cheating software is often the solution that game developers go with on PC. Console versions of games typically have far less problems with cheating because of the locked nature of the systems. A hacked version of a game will get your console permanently banned from Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.

It’s good to see iD Software responding to fans, but if cheating is such a big problem on the PC version, expect another anti-cheating solution coming in the update that removes Denuvo.

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