When we last checked in on the state of Denuvo copy protection in PC games, the latest version of the best-in-class DRM provider had provided about a month’s worth of usable piracy prevention for survival-horror title 2Dark.

Fast forward to the current holiday season, and major Denuvo releases are being publicly cracked within a day of their launch. We’re certainly a long way away from the days when major cracking groups were publicly musing that Denuvo-style DRM might soon become unbeatable.
This week’s release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the latest to see its protections broken less than 24 hours after its release, but it’s not alone. Middle Earth: Shadow of War was broken within a day last week, and last month saw cracks for Total War: Warhammer 2 and FIFA 18 the very same day as their public release.

Then there’s The Evil Within 2, which reportedly used Denuvo in prerelease review copies but then launched without that protection last week, effectively ceding the game to immediate potential piracy.
Those nearly instant Denuvo cracks follow summer releases like Sonic Mania, Tekken 7, and Prey, all of which saw DRM protection cracked between four to nine days of release.

But even that small difference in the “uncracked” protection window can be important for game publishers, who usually see a large proportion of their legitimate sales in those first few days of availability.

The presence of an easy-to-find cracked version in that launch window (or lack thereof) could have a significant effect on the initial sales momentum for a big release.
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