denuvo logoSome recent games that are sold on the Steam Store are now shipping with additional DRM. Unlicensed copying has been a problem for games for a long time.

Denuvo evolved from the old Sony SecurOM technology. The Denuvo is not conventional DRM, it works more to prevent tampering which was a problem for SecurOM.

Denuvo has a reputation for adding a noticeable amount of overhead to a given game. It is known that Denuvo uses EXEPACK type packing to conceal game components. The old Sony SecurOM also used a type of EXEPACK algorithm.

Denuvo usea VMprotect 3 in addition to their own technologies from the SecurOM products.

Denuvo seems to be focused on 64-bit games. The first game known to use Denuvo is FIFA15 published September 23, 2014 by Electronic Arts. Since then many more games have adopted Denuvo.

  • 64-bit
  • Persistent Internet Required
  • Games protected by Denuvo require an online re-activation for every hardware upgrade.
  • Denuvo limits activations at 4 hardware upgrades per 24 hours.

The only time the hardware limitation could become an issue is with game benchmarking. Reality is the swapping 10 video cards will put a lot of wear on the motherboard slot which will likely result in its failure.


Lots of complaints over the poor performance of Batman: Arkham Knight are likely due to the use of Denuvo. Even with GTX 1080 SLI,  an X99 board and the fastest i7-6950X Batman was still having problems. Other titles have been equally demanding. Denuvo seems to make games 2-3x more demanding compared to contemporary game consoles. The problems were so bad that the publisher for Batman probably trashed the market for the game and the developer.


You can now select by category for Denuvo protected games.


It seems that Denuvo has been circumvented in July 2016. A fault with Steam that bypasses the demo allowing the full game to be played has been used with several games. A month later, in August 2016, are reports that Rise of the Tomb Raider had been properly broken.

This approach has been used in the past, however Denuvo is using a 64-bit platform. Eventually new 64-bit debuggers will limit the value of virtual machines.

Denuvo also uses a sophisticated type of encryption which they have managed to keep keys concealed using heavily obfuscated code. Generally the code is broken up into thousands of functions to stop disassemblers etc. This has resisted debuggers more effectively. This has the adverse effect of slowing down games with the overhead.


Many publishers have removed Denuvo from their games after discovering their games were not being protected. After 3 years more than 50% of games using Denovo have been circumvented.