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It took just 24 hours to crack Shadow of War’s DRM

Denuvo proves to be no match for players, again and again

shadow of war screen Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Players have already found a way around the Windows PC version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s anti-tamper protection software, Denuvo. Only one day after it launched, hackers appear to have uploaded a crack for the game — and those who are against the DRM technology are claiming a major victory.

Pirates uploaded the file yesterday to a popular Denuvo-free games hub, resulting in a Reddit thread that’s already received more than 3,000 updates and has 1,000 comments. The majority of replies come from people who argue that the speed at which hackers have figured out how to remove Shadow of War’s DRM protection is a sign that the days of Denuvo may soon come to an end.

Denuvo has been unpopular with PC players, as the software requires online activation and prevents owners from sharing their games; it also reportedly leaves files behind on computers, even after it’s been uninstalled. Players have also found that certain games performed worse due to their inclusion of Denuvo, as was the case with recent releases like Sonic Mania. Publishers will sometimes then remove the tech from their games themselves after players find a workaround, which happened with titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Denuvo first launched back in 2014, and at first, it could take hacking groups months to crack the software. Just Cause 3 proved particularly tough because it used an updated version of Denuvo, which led some to fear that their battle against the software may soon be over.

Yet in recent months, groups have been able to crack Denuvo faster and faster. It took five days to get around the software in Rime and Resident Evil 7; at the end of September, players cracked Total War: Warhammer 2 in only eight hours. The next day, it took around the same amount of time to crack FIFA 18.

Now that pirates can find cracked versions of games on launch day, it seems increasingly likely that Denuvo’s reputation as impenetrable may be over. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on the recent cracks and will update when we hear back.

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