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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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LungDrago 20 Jan
Quoting: ZlopezMost of the people doesn't bother with these things. You need to accept them to play the game, so you really don't have choice, if you want to play it. It's the same as with EULA, you can't really Disagree with it and still use the product.

Fascinating, we do have a choice, though. There is plenty of other products for us to use, it's not like we're forced to play games with shitty DRM and anticheat shenanigans. We could just move on to something else. That applies to us as in Linux gamers, so definately for Windows gamers as well. Strangely people seem drawn to the same shitty games like moths to a flame. Publishers would realize quickly that anticheat=bad if it made cuts into their revenue but gamers seem notoriously bad at voting with their wallets. Or just generally incapable of any more complex decision save for "game fun, me play" and "game not fun, me not play". It might've just killed them, but it is fun, so it is technically a good game :D


Last edited by LungDrago on 20 January 2021 at 12:11 pm UTC
scaine 20 Jan
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Looks like most people here agree with my views, so I won't repeat them. Only one outspoken defendant of Denuvo/DRM/Anti-Cheat, which is... well, one more than I'd expect in a Linux-focused community, but then there are millions of us now, so it's not hard to accept that there will be more and more Linux users that don't care, or understand, the harm of these technologies.

Indeed if we have any hope of growing beyond 1%, then we need more such gamers to join the ranks and, well, game. Regardless of the DRM/anti-cheat landscape.

But I'll stick to my guns. I despise Denuvo as a company for their root-kit approach to DRM. I've refused entire Humble Choice months in the past because they've featured Denuvo-ridden games (although annoyingly got the one with Yakuza before I realised). I don't support them and I never will. Despite how open they're being here, I sincerely hope their efforts on the anti-cheat front fails spectacularly. The last thing we need is yet another prevalent EAC-like solution barring entry to online games. And Denuvo's previous record shows that once they've cornered enough of the anti-cheat market, they'd start bundling their DRM too, making gaming worse in literally every possible way - intrusive, compulsory for single-player, reduced performance, binary, proprietary bullshit.

No thanks.
Zlopez 20 Jan
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Quoting: dvd
Quoting: damarrinFor someone who just wants to play an online game it’s irrelevant how the anti cheat is implemented and what it installs in their system as long as things continue working. If they’re not a cheater, they are happy they will have less of those to deal with.

It’s us Linux users who bring in other considerations like privacy and control over their own machines into the discussion, since these are among the reasons we use Linux in the first place. But we are 1 per cent. This discussion does not exist for the vast majority of people out there. It’s us who want to have our cake and eat it. And it’s not a jab or anything, I’m like this as well.

This is the result of the incredibly harmful capitalist propaganda. It's like how people in some countries view universial healthcare as a negative thing. But sadly computers and especially gaming is surrounded by some really nonsensical laws and unethical practices.

I don't think this has anything to do with capitalist propaganda. These companies are mostly profit driven, so if they get more money with this DRM, they will go for it. It's sad that people are buying those games, but I would also point on the thing that most gamers doesn't know that the game has DRM or what DRM even is. And some of them find out after buying the game, not before.
Zlopez 20 Jan
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Quoting: LungDrago
Quoting: ZlopezMost of the people doesn't bother with these things. You need to accept them to play the game, so you really don't have choice, if you want to play it. It's the same as with EULA, you can't really Disagree with it and still use the product.

Fascinating, we do have a choice, though. There is plenty of other products for us to use, it's not like we're forced to play games with shitty DRM and anticheat shenanigans. We could just move on to something else. That applies to us as in Linux gamers, so definately for Windows gamers as well. Strangely people seem drawn to the same shitty games like moths to a flame. Publishers would realize quickly that anticheat=bad if it made cuts into their revenue but gamers seem notoriously bad at voting with their wallets. Or just generally incapable of any more complex decision save for "game fun, me play" and "game not fun, me not play". It might've just killed them, but it is fun, so it is technically a good game :D

You have a choice if you don't want to play this particular game. But if you want to play it, you don't have any. It's same like being excited about one movie, but going to see another, because that one is only on Netflix. Most people would buy the Netflix subscription to watch the movie instead of choosing to watch something else. The hypetrain usually works as manipulation strategy well enough. If it didn't there wouldn't be exclusive titles on only one platform.

Not everybody is able to sacrifice something he loves, because it has some (in this case big) flaws.
elmapul 21 Jan
Quoting: Hamish
Quoting: elmapuli think we should let the fight against drm with the windows users, while we fight for linux marketshare, we can join they in their fight later on, but we dont have enough people/resources to fight in both fronts at the same time run today, live to fight tomorrow.
The thing is, if I was of the mindset that was okay with DRM solutions, I would not be using Linux in the first place. Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

drm can be broken later on, windows users dont have an issue with that, because there are enough hackers on the windows comunity to break any drm they might have.
meanwhile we dont have neither all the games nor the cracked games.
we would have both if we had an better marketshare.
Hamish 21 Jan
Quoting: elmapuldrm can be broken later on, windows users dont have an issue with that, because there are enough hackers on the windows comunity to break any drm they might have.
meanwhile we dont have neither all the games nor the cracked games.
we would have both if we had an better marketshare.
Let's be honest, if running a game with a crack to get around DRM is considered an acceptable user experience, so is running a Windows game through WINE with no support. We can do better on both platforms.
elmapul 21 Jan
Quoting: Hamish
Quoting: elmapuldrm can be broken later on, windows users dont have an issue with that, because there are enough hackers on the windows comunity to break any drm they might have.
meanwhile we dont have neither all the games nor the cracked games.
we would have both if we had an better marketshare.
Let's be honest, if running a game with a crack to get around DRM is considered an acceptable user experience, so is running a Windows game through WINE with no support. We can do better on both platforms.
that is, if the game RUNS.
a lot of games dont, or run without a lot of features.

like sound effects (eg: track mania from steam)
full screen (eg: disgaea)
cutscene playback (eg: guilty gear, melty blood)
Hamish 21 Jan
Quoting: elmapulthat is, if the game RUNS. a lot of games dont, or run without a lot of features.
Which is exactly my point. How is that any different than running a cracked version of a game with broken multiplayer or other quirks related to breaking the DRM system without developer support?
mirv 21 Jan
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Some DRM, while it _can_ be broken, makes everything such a hassle that the game effectively becomes unplayable. DRM is just plain bad, and is a curse upon archival of games. It even breaks the #1 customer benefit of using Steam - just download your game again whenever you want to play it, because now you need to keep track of which version is most up to date, and the cracks and patches to manually apply should you want to play the game again.

Not to mention that cracks can sometimes contain a little more than just a DRM bypass.

There really is no defending DRM, or anti-cheats measure that shares any technical features.
Hamish 21 Jan
Actually, to answer my own question, there is a difference: running a game through WINE is still legal. In Canada at least ANY attempt to break a digital lock is explicitly forbidden by law due to the Copyright Modernization Act, even for software you paid for and otherwise have a licence to use.

I knew someone who after thirteen long years wanted to finally play Duke Nukem Forever but was old school enough to not want a Steam account. So he played a cracked version of the game which, by deactivating Steamworks, also meant that the Ego system in the game was broken. He completed the entire game with the lowest amount of health possible, not even getting the first boost you get right at the beginning of the game from using the urinal.

My playing the copy of Shadow Warrior 2 I was gifted by GOG.com through WINE and DXVK and having a few issues with video playback is a small point in comparison.
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