Middle-Earth: Shadow of War released this week with the anti-tamper technology and digital rights management (DRM) scheme of Denuvo. However, it took less than a day for the game to be completely cracked and thrown on the internet for free.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is yet another addition to the list of games that Denuvo has failed to protect. There was a time when games would last several months before being cracked. The duration was enough for publishers to rake in much-needed money from sales. The current trend, though, sees Denuvo being shut down just days after a game is released into the market.
It is important to take into account that Denuvo never claimed to be a permanent solution against piracy. It also works differently for every game. Hence, some may be cracked in weeks and others in days.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War reportedly uses an older Denuvo version that was also used for Total War: Warhammer II. There is hope that Denuvo v5 will fare better. It, after all, is being developed for high-budget games releasing next year.
With all of that said, publishers should be asking themselves whether there is any point of paying for Denuvo. The grace period is shrinking to mere days before piracy takes hold. There needs to be another more robust solution that cannot be cracked so easily.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War released on October 10 and is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. There has been some controversy surrounding its loot boxes, but it seems like some players are able to activate cheats on the PC version to get hold of unlimited loot boxes for free.