Denuvo and other DRM might have issues on Intel’s new CPUs

Intel has released some information that we over at Gamer’s Gospel find concerning and would like to share with our readers.

Whenever a new processor generation is released, the manufacturer usually releases some kind of documentation to the public. In this case, Intel has released a developer’s guide for their upcoming Alder Lake CPUs.

Normally, this is no big deal, releases like this happen all the time. But upon further inspection, we found something concerning.

Excerpt from Intel's Developer Guide

As stated in the Intel Developer Guide, “If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular. Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM providers such as Denuvo* to make sure their solutions support new platforms.”

Now, this is concerning for a variety of reasons. First of all, buying a new CPU only to find out whatever game you want to play is unplayable because the copy protection system doesn’t support your processor sounds like quite frankly, a very infuriating thing to happen.

Additionally, what about past games?

There are many older games that aren’t updated anymore that use copy protection systems like Denuvo. If game developers don’t bother updating their Denuvo version, will those older games just prove to be completely unplayable?

This is a very legitimate concern to have, older copy protection methods like SecuROM suffered from similar issues, and have major compatibility issues on newer systems. We’re at the point where some older games are quite literally unplayable if you bought them legitimately, and your only choice is to pirate them if you want to play them.

Now of course here at Gamer’s Gospel, WE DO NOT ENDORSE PIRACY AT ALL. We think it’s a harmful practice that hurts the industry, but it’s important to look at in the context of this DRM issue.

All in all, we don’t think you should pirate your games or do anything of that sort, we just think behavior like this from software may cause issues in the long run. Sure, Denuvo is here to update their software for newer CPUs now, but what about the future? What about when Denuvo is defunct and there’s no one there to update the software anymore? Will people with newer computers just be unable to play their games?

We’ve reached out to Irdeto (Denuvo’s parent company) & Intel for details, and will update if we receive a response

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