Doom Eternal has been one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2019, till it was delayed to 2020, making it one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020. When the game finally launched on March 20th, Bethesda apparently goofed up and bypassed its own Denuvo DRM.
Those who bought and downloaded the game via Bethesda’s own launcher found a pleasant surprise waiting for them in plain sight. Bethesda has pushed out a DRM-Free version of the Doom executable in a folder labelled “original” alongside the locked-down version. The discovery was first reported by users on Reddit who noted that the 67MB DRM-free executable could replace the DRM-protected file and the game would play without any issues. What this means is that pirates will have one less thing to crack in their efforts to pirate the game, all thanks to Bethesda themselves. Bethesda did push out a patch shortly after reports surfaced, which seemed to remove the DRM-free executable, but the cracked genie is out of the bottle. The game, as per reports, still requires you to log into a Bethesda account and be online for the first run, another thing that’s reportedly been cracked.
This is not the first time Bethesda has made such a mistake. Last year the company launched Rage 2 and left the unprotected exe file amongst the downloaded files. Bethesda removed Denuvo DRM from the Steam version of the games promptly a few days later.
Denuvo itself is a rather controversial DRM system, with much evidence to show that it actually adversely impacts game performance. We’re not just talking frames per second, but also load times and latency. Extreme Tech had tested out various games with and without Denuvo and concluded that in every single instance, Denuvo was adversely impacting every aspect of the game’s performance. This was attributed to Denuvo’s high CPU usage and excessive write operations onto storage drives. Denuvo has denied the claims, but people’s findings are to the contrary.
Doom Eternal (Review) is another masterpiece by the good people over at ID Software and definitely deserves your money. It is rare for a sequel to even better than the original, and in this case, the original pales in comparison to its sequel.