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Rime players crack DRM, just days after launch (update)

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That tamper tech was slowing the game down

Rime beach Tequila Works/Grey Box/Six Foot

Players have figured out how to get around Rime’s digital rights management protection in a matter of days. Turns out the DRM had a negative effect on Rime's performance, slowing down load times, according to those who cracked it. Now the onus is on its developer, TequilaWorks, to remove the DRM tech entirely, as it initially promised.

Baldman, a member of the game-cracking hub Skidrow Games Reloaded, published the workaround earlier today. That’s just over five days from Rime’s release last week, tying it with Resident Evil 7 for the fastest Denuvo crack. It’s available as a free download for the game’s Windows PC version, and Baldman wrote that running the game without the Denuvo tech is actually recommended for players on PC.

“The game will be much better without that huge abomination called Denuvo. In Rime that ugly creature went out of control — how do you like three fucking hundreds of THOUSANDS calls to ‘triggers’ during initial game launch and savegame loading?” Baldman explained. “Did you wonder why game loading times are so long — here is the answer.”

The way the DRM in Rime works is that the software pings the game multiple times every second during gameplay, according to Baldman; that leads to major slowdown, which many players have reported as a problem with Rime since launch.

The game’s producer, Cody Bradley of publishing studio Grey Box, noted that Denuvo may be associated with “a small performance hit.”

“At this time we do not believe it is causing problem that are currently being reported,” he wrote in a note on the studio’s website. “We might be wrong. We’re monitoring the situation.”

A combination of this post and one from Rime’s publisher may have itself to thank for Baldman’s quick work. A member of TequilaWorks wrote on Steam over the weekend that it would update the game without its DRM — should anyone manage to crack the game first, that is.

“If Rime is cracked we will release a Denuvo-free version of Rime and update existing platforms,” a community manager posted. Although the studio maintained that cracking the game could create quality issues, it also recognized that “nothing is infallible,” including anti-tampering tech.

Players have found a way to get around DRM in numerous big games, although others have been much harder to crack. Recent titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda received big updates post-launch in order to increase their protection. That’s as much as any publisher can do, as players — and pirates — continue to take on the challenge of breaking into games that don’t want to be broken into.

Update: An update for Rime is now available on PC, removing Denuvo protection from the game.

“We at Team Grey Box are following through on our promise from earlier this week that we will be replacing the current build of Rime with one that does not contain Denuvo,” wrote user Dariuas, a developer on the game, in a post to Steam. “Please make sure your PC version of Rime has been updated, if it has not done so automatically.”