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Rumor: Bethesda Axes Denuvo DRM Prior to The Evil Within 2’s Release

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Video game piracy is a major issue (depending on who you ask), but sometimes the solution is worse than the problem; just ask anyone who has a game that uses the digital rights management (DRM) program Denuvo Anti-Tamper. Programs such as this are why some gamers tend to celebrate when video games are cracked (i.e., hacked so they can be pirated without any issues) or better yet released without anti-piracy programs.

According to a post on NeoGAF, Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within 2 has already been cracked, and the hackers did not find any Denuvo files. This news comes one day after a Reddit post confirmed the game will contain the program, but information is scarce, so for all we know the removal of the DRM program could only be a baseless rumor. On the other hand, Bethesda could easily have reconsidered the efficacy of the program after the news hit that hackers cracked the DRM of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War after twenty-four hours. And yes, Shadow of War used Denuvo as well. Prior to Shadow of War, the record for cracking a game’s DRM was five days, and the game in question was Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (it also used Denuvo). Apparently, this particular anti-tamper software doesn’t pose any challenge to hackers anymore.

While Denuvo is meant to prevent gamers from tampering with games, many report the program does more harm than good, as it purportedly causes performance issues with numerous games, and players report that games with this DRM never fully uninstall and tend to leave files on computers. Even worse, Denuvo supposedly makes it difficult/impossible to play certain games offline. If these claims are true, I fully understand why gamers call the program draconian.

If the rumor is true and The Evil Within 2 no longer has Denuvo, then The Evil Within 2 is the latest in a growing list of games that previously used the program, a list that includes DOOMInsideTitanfall 2Hitman, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. However, Denuvo was removed from these games after they were released and cracked, which makes The Evil Within 2 one of the few games where the program was removed prior to release. Given the speed at which games with Denuvo are being cracked, game developers and publishers might turn away from this particular DRM program very soon.

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Gaming

Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years

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Activision has recently announced the establishment of a new studio, Elsewhere Entertainment, located in Warsaw. The studio has been entrusted with the exciting challenge of creating a groundbreaking AAA franchise that will captivate players with its immersive storytelling and innovative gameplay. A significant number of employees were let go by the large corporation after the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King earlier this year.

According to IGN, Activision made the announcement in a blog post, sharing that the team will be based in Poland with additional resources in the US. The studio has assembled a team of highly skilled individuals who have worked on acclaimed titles such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Destiny, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Activision’s response to IGN’s request for a studio logo or official artwork was rather unconventional. Instead of providing the requested materials, they sent over the Cambridge University dictionary definition of the word “elsewhere.”. However, with a discerning eye, one may catch a glimpse of something lurking in the background. The publication acknowledges that, whatever it may be, it has no connection to Call of Duty. Elsewhere Entertainment has been granted full access to Activision’s extensive resources and cutting-edge tools, enabling them to further enhance their production and development capabilities. We may have to wait a while before we find out what they have in store for us.

Curious about Activision’s latest venture, Elsewhere Entertainment? Opening a new studio after numerous layoffs—is it a tasteless move or simply another harsh reality of the video game industry? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Rockstar Co-Founder Dan Houser is currently working on the development of an exciting new ‘Open World Action-Adventure’ game

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Last year, we reported that Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser had launched a new studio called Absurd Ventures, with the aim of developing original IP for all platforms and formats. The new outfit has recently started development on a game that boasts top-notch combat and third-person action in a variety of game modes.

This information is available, as Eurogamer discovered, from a recent job listing on the developer’s website. The company is looking for more people to join their team and contribute to an “open-world action-adventure game.”. According to Eurogamer, it seems that the project they are working on is still in its early stages. They are currently in the process of hiring for important positions like lead designer, lead gameplay designer, art director, and technical director.

Absurd Venture is dedicated to crafting immersive narrative experiences across a wide range of mediums, such as games, animation, books, graphic novels, live-action, and scripted podcasts. Their mission is to create captivating worlds, compelling characters, and engaging stories that span diverse genres. The former vice president of writing at Rockstar, who co-wrote both Red Dead Redemption games, has recently joined the studio. Additionally, Lazlow Jones, a former writer and producer at Rockstar, has also come on board.

Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Assassin’s Creed Shadows, the physical version, requires an online connection for installation

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Players who choose to go with a physical copy of the recently announced Assassin’s Creed Shadows will need an Internet connection in order to finish the installation. This is unlikely to pose a problem for most Ubisoft fans, but it does align with a trend that is worth mentioning. It follows a requirement that was initially introduced in 2023’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and will also be the case with the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws.

As reported by VGC, pre-orders for the game are now available, and a notice on the front box art at retailers such as Best Buy and GameStop states: “Internet connection is necessary for game installation.” For Avatar, players had to install a day-one patch before being able to start the game. However, both Shadows and Outlaws come with a warning prominently displayed on the front of the box.

The lack of a clear explanation for this requirement raises concerns about the long-term preservation of the game, particularly if the servers are eventually shut down. In December, Ubisoft made the decision to delist the original The Crew, effectively ending its run. This unfortunate event may not be the last time we see a game meet a similar fate.

What are your thoughts on Ubisoft’s requirement of an online connection for the installation of its flagship games? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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