Denuvo consoles itself —
Middleware promises to protect “fairness and fun” as well as developer revenues.
Regular readers know the name Denuvo as a once-impenetrable and now-quite-penetrable anti-piracy solution for PC games. Today, though, Denuvo parent company Irdeto announced that Denuvo technology is available to PS5 developers looking for an easy anti-cheat solution for their games.
Console gaming’s closed ecosystem is generally less susceptible to the kinds of memory modifications and/or third-party cheating apps that can lead to widespread cheating in many online PC games. And while modern consoles like the Switch have seen widespread hardware hacking that makes game modding relatively simple, the PS5’s ecosystem has thus far been resilient to any widely known external attacks (though hackers are already working on breaking in).
Still, Denuvo says its PS5 middleware helps developers “protect sensitive game logic or data, preventing cheaters from changing sensitive variables and ensuring its trustworthiness.” That system generally works through a process of obfuscation and encryption, obscuring the true intent of the game’s internal procedures to make it harder for hackers to figure out which bits of code affect different parts of the game. Irdeto says this extra layer of security has no effect on a game’s performance, a statement supported by Ars’ own testing of Denuvo-enabled and Denuvo-free versions of Arkham Knight on PC back in 2019.
Irdeto sells its PS5 anti-cheat system as a way of “bringing fairness and fun back to gaming,” but also as a revenue-protection mechanism for developers. Cheating “can lead to lower engagement, game traffic and shrinking revenues for game publishers,” Denuvo Managing Director Reinhard Blaukovitsch said in a statement. Irdeto says a number of PS5 launch titles already include this technology but didn’t elaborate on which ones.
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Interestingly, Denuvo is selling this system both as a way to protect online gameplay and to “securely reward offline progress.” That means Denuvo could be used to make sure players don’t try to install strictly single-player mods that short-circuit a PS5 game’s usual reward loop or try to get around in-game microtransaction payments. “Securing revenue sources beyond the game sales has become increasingly important for the publishers who rely on ad-revenues, in-game currency, downloadable content (DLC) and more broadly gamers’ long-term engagement into the games,” the company said in a statement.
Today’s PS5 announcement comes just a few months after Irdeto launched a version of Denuvo anti-cheat protections that integrate directly with the popular Steamworks API for PC games. Last year, Denuvo also rolled out a similar product intended to protect the integrity of mobile games.
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