PC gamers are all too aware of Denuvo, an invasive anti-tamper technology used by games publishers to prevent piracy. While perceived to be unbreakable, it has in recent times, met its match in the form of Voksi, a Bulgarian hacker credited with revitalising the Denuvo cracking scene. And where Denuvo's anti-piracy tech has failed, it has resorted to using the long arm of the law to keep its tech unharmed. Working with the Bulgarian authorities, Voksi has been arrested.
"It finally happened," Voksi posted on Reddit. "I can’t say it wasn’t expected. Denuvo filed a case against me to the Bulgarian authorities. Police came yesterday and took the server PC and my personal PC. I had to go to the police afterwards and explain myself. Later that day I contacted Denuvo themselves and offered them a peacful resolution to this problem. They can't say anything for sure yet, but they said the final word is by the prosecutor of my case."
That said, Voksi won't be able to continue his work.
"Sadly, I won't be able to do what I did anymore. I did what I did for you guys and of course because bloated software in our games shouldn't be allowed at all. Maybe someone else can continue my fight," his post continues.
That fact that Denuvo had to go to such lengths to safeguard itself is amusing. Evidently its tech isn't as good as advertised and has in the past, been called out by consumers for being invasive.
Unless a game is sold on GOG, PC gamers don’t have the option of a DRM-free version. In an age where a vocal base of gamers deride and often boycott games based on the kind of DRM - looking at you, Denuvo - some developers are firmly sticking to its guns and going ahead with implementing DRM.
“We spoke to a few developers [and] some of them said that the numbers on Kickstarter for DRM-free version [of games], their backers are in single digits,"explained Pune-based Nodding Heads founder and lead designer Avichal Singh to Gadgets 360 in a previous interview. "Even though it seems like people are asking for it, we got not even more than ten messages asking for it. We were ok with taking that decision. It was scary because you don't want to give your EXE to someone and we don't know what's going to happen. It might hurt you later is why we didn't do it.”
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.