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Irdeto, the company behind Denuvo and the newer Denuvo Anti-Cheat have announced that developers on Steam can now get direct anti-cheat integration through Steamworks. Denuvo is one of the most popular DRM solutions, with it often appearing in Windows releases of popular AAA games. Now with this Anti-Cheat easily available direct through Steam no doubt many developers will look to use it. 

The question is: how will this affect Linux compatibility of games both native Linux builds and Windows games run through the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer? Back in May, we reported that the Denuvo team did mention they were aiming for support of Proton.

After shooting a message over to Irdeto here's what Reinhard Blaukovitsch, Managing Director of Denuvo by Irdeto, said in reply:

We can confirm that future deployments of Denuvo Anti-Cheat will not prohibit Linux users from accessing single-player and non-competitive multiplayer features of their games. For example, campaigns or custom multiplayer game matches. Linux users will not be required to install a kernel-mode driver, and the lack of anti-cheat software will not prevent their game from starting.

Even though there is no kernel-mode driver on Linux, the userspace game process performs significant cheat detection. Linux users accessing multiplayer will be reported to online services as running at lower integrity. Some game developers may choose to prevent Linux users from accessing ranked or competitive game modes. We'll do our best to convince developers and publishers to allow Linux users to participate in competitive modes. Still, we must be honest with them and disclose our reduced detection capability on Linux.

We'll communicate concrete plans for growing Linux detection capability and how the community can contribute as our userbase grows.

In a further clarification to us, we asked if this was only for Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer or if it will have the same kind of support for native Linux builds to which they replied "This is for Windows games in Proton". 

When asked for their plans (if any) to support native Linux builds of games, here's what they said:

We have not yet been engaged by an organization expressing interest in native anti-cheat support for Linux. Once there is demand, we’d have no hesitation to take on that task. It’s worth noting that we’ve had anti-cheat technology on consoles for many years now.  Our experience with Linux-like environments on the Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4 & 5 indicates that effective native Linux anti-cheat would require a from-the-ground-up effort and not just a port. Denuvo Anti-Cheat is heavily dependent on hardware security features which makes it fairly kernel-agnostic, so it’s just a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Our best bang-for-the-buck in the short term is Proton.

So there you have it. If demand comes, they will do it too and it's only a matter of time. Nice to see them being so open about it and happy to chat with us on it so clearly.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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83 comments
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Eike 19 Jan
"Denuvo Anti-Cheat will not prohibit Linux users from accessing single-player and non-competitive multiplayer features of their games"

Ain't it great? It's anti-cheat - not anti-DRM! - and will not prohibit single player stuff!?!
Zlopez 19 Jan
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It will be better if the Gaming world would be DRM free (at least there are legal options for games, not like for movies or music). Without the Open Source engines reimplementations some games wouldn't even be playable today. And the DRM is not a cheap thing to use, so if the publishers would rather use these money for polishing the game they could probably have better profits. At least I like to hope that the publishers are the ones that want the DRM not the developers.

In case of anti-cheat, I'm not against using anti-cheat software server-side, but having it on client is actually not a good solution, especially if it prevents you to run the game in a few years or start it if you are not connected to some 3rd party server.

Saying all this, I'm still buying most of my games on Steam, because I want to support Valve on what it does for Linux. Keep it up, Gabe!
QuoteWe'll do our best to convince developers and publishers to allow Linux users to participate in competitive modes. Still, we must be honest with them and disclose our reduced detection capability on Linux.

They won't, even though it just means 1% of their player base might be able to cheat easier.
QuoteEven though there is no kernel-mode driver on Linux, the userspace game process performs significant cheat detection. Linux users accessing multiplayer will be reported to online services as running at lower integrity. Some game developers may choose to prevent Linux users from accessing ranked or competitive game modes. We'll do our best to convince developers and publishers to allow Linux users to participate in competitive modes. Still, we must be honest with them and disclose our reduced detection capability on Linux.

I'd say that's actually a pretty positive response. So another words there's no reason why Denuvo AntiCheat protected games couldn't work via Proton, and is in fact designed to work in Proton, but it will be simply a matter of developers toggling a switch to allow it.

Seems pretty reasonable to me. Hopefully some devs out there are willing to try it. Although if it results in an increase in cheating I imagine they will immediately switch it off again.


Last edited by gradyvuckovic on 19 January 2021 at 4:24 pm UTC
slaapliedje 19 Jan
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Quoting: ZlopezIt will be better if the Gaming world would be DRM free (at least there are legal options for games, not like for movies or music). Without the Open Source engines reimplementations some games wouldn't even be playable today. And the DRM is not a cheap thing to use, so if the publishers would rather use these money for polishing the game they could probably have better profits. At least I like to hope that the publishers are the ones that want the DRM not the developers.

In case of anti-cheat, I'm not against using anti-cheat software server-side, but having it on client is actually not a good solution, especially if it prevents you to run the game in a few years or start it if you are not connected to some 3rd party server.

Saying all this, I'm still buying most of my games on Steam, because I want to support Valve on what it does for Linux. Keep it up, Gabe!
I laughed when I found out that Windows 10 won't support any games that use SafeDisc DRM. That was one of the most popular ones back in the day. So there are large amounts of older Windows games that will simply not work on Windows 10 unless you use a crack.
Quoting: Eike"Denuvo Anti-Cheat will not prohibit Linux users from accessing single-player and non-competitive multiplayer features of their games"

Ain't it great? It's anti-cheat - not anti-DRM! - and will not prohibit single player stuff!?!

Incredible, It's almost as if they understand Anti-Cheat should not necessarily be ANTI-CONSUMER too. Mind = Blown

I much prefer games that do it like Halo MCC where you literally are given the choice as consumer if you want to launch with anticheat disabled ( which I do so I can play on custom servers )

It's funny looking back, back in the 90s "cheats" used to be a "feature" you literally paid extra money for a players guide or game shark or whatever to get special new capabilities.
BielFPs 19 Jan
It's sad how anti cheat solutions are more effective to block legit Linux players instead of actual cheaters. And for anti-piracy protection, I haven't see any successfully case with Denuvo since the Chinese had their first success of crack them.

Reading the article, my thoughts are that it will be similar to EAC situation: It kinda works with Linux, but the developer has to choose if they want to support it, which the answer is no.
x_wing 19 Jan
Quoting: ElectricPrismIt's funny looking back, back in the 90s "cheats" used to be a "feature" you literally paid extra money for a players guide or game shark or whatever to get special new capabilities.

There is still a market for that. Not long ago I watched a interview with a cheater that mentioned paying around 100 USD per month in order to get cheats for PUBG.
soulsource 19 Jan
Quoting: BielFPsAnd for anti-piracy protection, I haven't see any successfully case with Denuvo since the Chinese had their first success of crack them.

Bus Simulator 18 took more than a year to crack: https://crackwatch.com/game/bus-simulator-18
Eike 19 Jan
Quoting: soulsourceBus Simulator 18 took more than a year to crack: https://crackwatch.com/game/bus-simulator-18

I guess nobody tried in the first place. :D
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