Denuvo's new PC anti-cheat solution only just recently launched with its first game, Doom Eternal. But after a rash of negative feedback, developers id Software is planning to remove the tech within the next week.
Marty Stratton, Doom Eternal's co-director and executive producer, took to the Doom subreddit to announce the change. Added to the PC version with last week's "Update 1" release, Stratton says the decision to include the Denuvo anti-cheat software was made based on a number of factors, including that players had been disappointed with a delay in adding anti-cheat to 2016's Doom.
Upon release of the update, angered fans kicked off a review bombing effort on Steam. Apart from associations with Denuvo's widely maligned anti-piracy software, many cited concerns over the anti-cheat's kernel-level integration, echoing recent criticisms of the always-on kernel anti-cheat in Riot's new competitive shooter Valorant. "Update 1" also introduced some new performance and crash issues, which Stratton emphasizes are not related to the Denuvo implementation.
In the post, Stratton also makes an effort to take the heat off of id's publisher, Bethesda. "I have seen speculation online that Bethesda (our parent company and publisher) is forcing these or other decisions on us, and it's simply untrue," Stratton says.
While Denuvo anti-cheat is being removed now, id is not committing to leaving Doom Eternal without any anti-cheat in the future. First added for the sake of the Battlemode, Stratton notes that adding anti-cheat was also intended as preparation for the introduction of Invasion, a mode that blends Eternal's single-player and multiplayer mechanics. That said, it seems id is open to exploring a solution without anti-cheat for those who don't care about Doom's multiplayer:
As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives–like ranked or competitive play–where demand for anti-cheat is far greater.
On top of Invasion, single-player DLC is in the works for Doom Eternal. Recently, Stratton also took to Reddit to explain that id has parted ways with series composer Mick Gordon after issues related to the soundtrack release, and will not be working with him for the music in those campaign add-ons.