Sonic Mania experiences with Denuvo

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Laughingcow, Aug 31, 2017.

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  1. HEDGESMFG

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    The reviews are depressing to read.

    I agree with them 100%. Denuvo may seem innocent to some, but it is ultimately a very bad thing for games in the long run (mostly due to the unneeded resource usage it causes on many PCs and locking out attempts at major modding for any legal copy). Sega needs to cave under pressure and remove it, as many devs have from their releases.

    But this is still sad. Hopefully the gamers who don't buy this on PC will get it on another platform, but I refunded my copy as soon as the delay was announced. I knew this was coming.
     
  2. Dissent

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    i5 6600k + GTX 1070, no performance issues, generally about 20-30% CPU usage while playing. CPU runs at my typical idle temp of 30-31c.

    [​IMG]

    I/O read/writes after loading in GHZ and running around for a few seconds. Mania performed a whopping ~8,000 bytes of read/write activity on the drive.

    I'd scratch off the complaint of Denuvo impacting hard drives.
     
  3. CollectiveWater

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    I got a boilerplate message from someone at Sega Europe that links to this hilariously shallow FAQ about Denuvo which ignores several major issues with it: Sega Denuvo Boilerplate FAQ

    Here was my response. I don't have an account on NeoGAF so I would love if someone here could post this in the Sonic Mania on PC uses Denuvo thread there. I also tweeted this reply to the official Sega Europe, Sega, Sonic the Hegehog accounts (and RubyEclipse)--feel free to RT that also if you'd like. (My just-started Twitter account is here.)



    This boilerplate response does not address anything that I said, specifically the copious evidence that sales of the PC version have been/are dramatically hurt by the inclusion of Denuvo, and the fact that I refuse to purchase the game on PC unless Denuvo is removed. (I already own it on Switch & PS4. I have no issue supporting quality versions of the game, because the game is great, but y'all have absolutely ruined the PC version.)

    Your FAQ about Denuvo conveniently fails to address several major concerns about the software.

    1) Several antivirus programs automatically detect Denuvo as malware and delete files containing it. Users have to go out of their way to turn off their antivirus or make an exception for a specific file in order to even install it. That is an undue burden to put on people who bought the game and just want to play it.

    2) Denuvo is made by the same people who previously made malware DRM software called SecuROM (Sony DADC was the name of the dev group). SecuROM was notoriously bad software that had a terrible reputation from users, but more importantly from major companies like Microsoft and EA. Microsoft deemed SecuROM to be software that becomes "deeply embedded in your system, and a possible loophole for computer viruses." Microsoft outright banned SecuROM from working on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. Denuvo is simply the successor to SecuROM, so you're using software made by a company that recently had previous, very similar software completely blacklisted from working on every major version of the most popular operating system in the world. Source: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/windows-10-wont-run-games-with-securom-drm-says-microsoft-2/

    3) EA had to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against them for using SecuROM in their products and failing to disclose that information to buyers of the software. You literally hid the fact that Denuvo was inside "Sonic Mania" (it was not disclosed on the official Steam page or anywhere else prior to launch) until tens of thousands of people complained about it after finding out first-hand themselves once "Sonic Mania" was released. Steam has a mechanism in place for developers to disclose that Denuvo is included in their game, and you failed to utilize that mechanism and disclose that information. You could and should face a similar class-action lawsuit. Source: https://beyondsims.com/12843/ea-to-settle-the-securom-class-action-lawsuit/

    4) Denuvo was found to be illegally using code/software from another company (VMProtect). It wasn't until this was discovered and VMProtect threatened to sue them for illegally using their code that Denuvo finally paid them for its usage/reached a settlement with them. Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170605/11285237517/vmprotect-accuses-denuvo-using-unlicensed-software-antipiracy-drm.shtml

    In summation, the creators of Denuvo have a long track record of being a shady company that makes malicious software. Their previous and very similar malware DRM software SecuROM was outright banned from working on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 by Microsoft and its usage led to a class-action lawsuit against EA, which they had to settle. They clearly have not "gone clean," as evidenced by the fact they were perfectly comfortable illegally using another company's software/code without licensing/paying them for years, only doing so when they were caught red-handed. 

    The fact you feel comfortable working with this company, implementing their malware into your game, failing to disclose to your customers that it is included in a highly anticipated game (the release of which by all accounts you delayed for two weeks merely to implement this malware into) speaks volumes about you as a company and the respect you have for your paying customers. The way you've responded to the criticisms from customers has been atrocious. All of this strongly indicates you simply do not care about your customers.

    I really, really hope y'all come to your senses on this. All you have to do to fix this disaster is remove Denuvo from the PC version. People like me will then feel comfortable purchasing it, many of the nearly 1,000 negative user reviews on Steam would edit their review to positive and indicate they did so because you actually listened to their feedback, and so on. Everything you've said so far indicates this is not going to happen, though, and how utterly disappointing that is. I love "Sonic Mania." I've bought it on both Switch and PS4 and played through it multiple times. The dev team did the best job they possibly could and have significantly revitalized the series for you. I was beyond excited to be able to play the PC version using SLS and original Saturn controllers. I wanted the PC version to be extremely successful like the PS4 and Switch versions clearly have been. So far everything you have done has significantly hampered that from happening. Whether you realize it or not, you are ruining your own game's sales success on the biggest platform with the most potential customers. What a sad state of affairs.

    Best regards,

    Will Connor
     
  4. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    ^ Thank you for summing it up so eloquently. I may just send a response to the email Sega sent me with that post.
     
  5. winterhell

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    I would like to point out, that at times when the task manager reports 25% CPU usage, that doesn't necessarily mean the game is taking 100% out of 1 core. When a Vsync fence is encountered, the CPU enters idle mode until its time to flip the backbuffer. So a game might take 1ms to render the frame, and 15.6ms to wait for the vsync. You'd expect 1-2% CPU usage in said scenario, but the video driver can tell its a busy wait, so you see the CPU core usage max out. Some drivers do it right, some don't. Now I don't know how much it takes for the game engine to render one frame, or any other background processing it does, but here sometimes the core usage gets to 100% in the menus, other times it gets to 10% in the stages.

    How much of this is the GPU incorrectly reporting wait times, or the Denuvo itself, hard to tell without the game creators.

    Core i5 2500K desktop with Windows 7 here.
     
  6. Fenrir

    Fenrir

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    When are companies going to understand that implementing anti-piracy crap like Denuvo will do nothing but make people pirate the game MORE? Seriously, between the delay and this garbage, the reviews and sales of Mania on PC is likely going to suffer fairly substantially, and I want nothing more than for this game to do as well as humanly possible, as I'm sure everyone here does. Because if it doesn't do well, I know damn well Sega isn't going to blame the DRM as the cause of the critical reception.
     
  7. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Activation-based DRM will make the game unplayable in 20 years. This alone makes Denuvo a show-stopping no sale.

    To everyone who thinks this is an unreasonable request, I have one simple question for you - how old is S3&K, never mind 1, 2 or CD?
     
  8. nineko

    nineko

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    Indeed, I don't want to reiterate but all of this could have been avoided if they took the easy route and made CDs instead of going through a lot of effort with the only result to make things worse instead of better.

    But hey, when/if there will be a way to play this without Steam, I'll make sure to send a gift to Taxman and Stealth out of respect.
     
  9. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    So, Denuvo hacking thread when?
     
  10. CollectiveWater

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    Spot-on. Look what happened with games that used SafeDisc and SecuROM malware DRM, which Microsoft banned from working on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. Some studios put out updates that removed the DRM so their game could be playable, but many did not. The only legitimate way for people to play a game they bought between 2003-2011 that uses either of those malware DRM services is to now buy a second working copy of the game on a modern digital storefront, if it's even available on one. I bet a lot of publishers of those games are secretly pleased that this is the case. Despicable.

    Only a matter of time before the same fate befalls Denuvo (Denuvo is the successor to SecuROM/made by the same people, after all). 20 years is likely a generous estimate--I'd give it less than 10.



    Regarding folks inquiring why Sega Europe is responsible for the PC version/implementing the DRM: it seems like Sega Europe handles most if not all of Sega's PC releases. Or at least they handle all the customer support for their PC releases. If you go to the U.S. Sega site, navigate to the support page at the bottom, and then click on support for computer games, it takes you directly to the UK support page.
     
  11. Stimil Rc.

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    As far as I know, I've suffered no consequences. Mania doesn't appear to hog a lot of resources and it plays as expected, barring a few bugs in the game itself. What's funny is that I apparently live under a rock. I didn't even know about Denuvo until people stared talking about it in the Mania thread a few weeks ago.

    Mania is the first Denuvo game I've ever purchased. It seems to be mainly tied to AAA games, which I almost never buy because I tend to prefer retro/story-lite/arcadey games.
    I get a person refusing to buy a game that they may like because they refuse to indirectly support intrusive DRM, but I never got why people would just pirate it instead. For what reason were they going to purchase it in the first place?
     
  12. Most of this controversy is due to people not bothering to fact-check information that they read from others on the internet and this inane anti-DRM hysteria that people have because of rumors like this. The fact of the matter is that Denuvo does nothing to negatively affect your computer. Anyone who claims otherwise either do not know what they're talking about or they're outright liars. Those who claim that it's malware should be reminded of what the definition of malware is. The online-only thing was an error that was fixed and is not a requirement of Denuvo. I have no sympathy to people who wish to misinform people after being told othewise for the sake of reducing a publisher's sales or try to rationalize piracy. If you care about the game, then you would be willing to give money to the developers by purchasing their game.

    Also, if anyone actually cared that much about DRM to the point of refusing to buy a game if it had an implementation of it, then I question why they even have a Steam account. Games that are on Steam will more likely than not use its type of DRM. Denuvo itself is an anti-tampering program that protects DRM methods.
     
  13. tokumaru

    tokumaru

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    The only reason I have a Steam account is Sonic Mania. I'm not a gamer anymore, I don't own any current-gen consoles, so the only way to play this game is Steam, unfortunately.
     
  14. Effexor

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    Probably because they still want to play the game. By pirating it, they can still play the game, but they also aren't supporting the company who decided to put something like Denuvo in it. Which sucks because, as is I'm assuming this case, the developers might not have wanted to have it in their game in the first place.
     
  15. Stimil Rc.

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    That's not answering my question, though. I know that they want to play it and that they don't want to support DRM, so even purchasing the game and getting a cracked version as soon as possible works against that.

    What I'm asking is what their reason for paying for DRM free games is if compensating a business for their product or supporting a product they enjoy and want to see more of aren't good enough reasons. They're gonna get the game no matter what, so why not just pirate everything?
     
  16. CollectiveWater

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    Did you read my first post on the previous page? I purchased the game twice on two other platforms. The only thing worse than people who believe misinformation (and yes, there is misinformation about Denuvo--there are no credible reports about it doing anything wonky to a SSD or HDD, for example, etc.) is people who think that folks against malicious DRM are trying to harm a game's sales or trying to rationalize piracy. I own 170 games on Steam (sure, not that many compared to many other people--I only buy games I actually intend to play/experience at some point) and have owned probably close to double that on consoles over the years. I've never pirated a game or anything else in my entire life. Just because there might be some dipshit pirates that cling onto anti-DRM arguments for their own bullshit purposes doesn't mean that *all* or even most of us who are opposed to DRM for objective reasons are also somehow one ourselves. If you honestly think more than 5%, much less more than 50%, of people who are staunchly against DRM are pirates, that seems to say more about you than anything else.

    As for saying folks against Denuvo should be reminded of what the definition of malware is: Microsoft said this about SecuROM, the extremely similar DRM software the makers of Denuvo previously made before it failed and they were bought out: "it's deeply embedded in your system, and a possible loophole for computer viruses." They banned any software that contained SecuROM from working on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. Does that not fit the definition of malware to you? If it doesn't, then you must have a lot of unnecessary junk and viruses on your computer. Hope you backup and do clean installs often. Denuvo itself illegally used code from another company for years before they were caught and finally paid up. Does this sound like a super credible company to you, one that you would put a lot of trust in?

    As for why people who are against malicious DRM would use Steam: well, there's a pretty obvious answer for that. 95%+ of PC games are sold on their service, and a huge percent of PC games are *only* available on their service. Retail/physical copies of PC games are essentially non-existent now; unlike the console market PC has almost completely gone digital (for better and worse). Even a lot of games that *are* available on GoG and other DRM-free services don't receive the same benefits/treatment as the Steam release--they lag severely behind in patches/updates, etc. People who are against malicious DRM use Steam because we don't have a fucking choice--they completely dominate the market. And unlike additional DRM like Denuvo, there are indeed benefits to using Steam--easy access to all your games, cloud saves, don't have to worry/think as much about backing up your games/saves if you move to a new computer or do a clean install, frequent sales on games, even the ability to make money to save on future purchases via dumb shit like cards and other items you get for free by playing games and can sell in their marketplace, etc. There are *no* benefits to the customer like that with additional DRM like Denuvo. They're not remotely the same thing, so don't pretend like they are. And maybe I'm gullible, but I absolutely believe Valve would strip their own launcher DRM from games in the highly unlikely scenario they were shutting down the service for some reason. So I'm not worried about losing my games or having compatibility break/being unable to launch them with Steam. Lastly, as you're probably aware, many games on Steam are launcher-free, meaning you can run them without opening/using Steam. Ironically that includes all the classic 2D Sonic games (except CD): Games on Steam you can play without even using/running Steam--100% DRM-free.

    Like I said on the previous page, I was rooting for the PC version of "Mania" to be incredibly successful. I've been casually monitoring its sales across various platforms since the beginning of August. Hate to break it to you, but it seems incredibly likely that the PC version has suffered worse sales than other platforms as a result of both the PC version being delayed by two weeks and the Denuvo disaster/negative reviews and comments across the internet. "Mania" is the #1 best selling digital game on the Playstation Store, and has been for the last week. (It was the #4 game overall for its first week, behind massive heavyweights "GTA V," "Friday the 13th," and "Hellblade," which released a week before it, but it quickly ascended to #1 and has remained there since.) It's also the #1 best-selling game on the Switch eShop, and has been since shortly after its release.

    Meanwhile the highest it ever went on Steam's top seller list was #3, on the 29th, and it has quickly fallen to #21 currently, in two days. Why do you think it's been #1 on Switch for over 2 weeks and #1 on PS4 for the last week, and yet the highest it managed to reach on Steam was #3 with a precipitous dropoff to #21, in *two* days? Steam has more games/competition than the other platforms ("Battlegrounds" is a juggernaut in terms of sales), but it should easily still be in the top 10 and even the top 5.

    Of course I can't provide conclusive evidence the Denuvo disaster is the reason as to why, but it seems pretty obvious, especially when you see tons of comments on GAF, Twitter, Steam forums, and elsewhere on the internet of people saying they have already refunded their game or are going to unless Denuvo is removed. The GAF thread has almost 60,000 views. Almost 1,000 negative reviews on Steam. Jim Sterling's video about the matter has 134,000 views. Not only does all this lead to refunds but it also has a knock-on effect of making people who were considering getting it not bother.

    Ultimately this whole fiasco isn't gonna ruin the game's financial success, by any means. It's clearly doing gangbusters on PS4 and Switch (and probably fine on Xbox One, too). But the PC is obviously the largest userbase you could possibly sell a game to, and "Mania" is exactly the type of game at the type of pricepoint that should be doing incredibly well on that platform. I suspect it'll still do well there overall, especially months/years down the line when it's in summer/winter sales, but it clearly could have sold even better, especially at the outset at full price. The fact it isn't due to a self-inflicted wound by the publisher themselves is just sad. Oh well.
     
  17. Effexor

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    I don't think I'm getting what you're asking. If they pirate everything, then they aren't supporting the companies that make the games they enjoy, so they're less likely to get more games that they enjoy. If they buy games they enjoy, they can support the companies and get more in the future, because they don't make things for free. However, if people care about DRM enough, a company suddenly putting DRM in their favorite games will drive them to not want to support those practices. If they don't buy the game and, instead, get a cracked version, they aren't supporting the company, which is what some people are being driven to do.

    Paying a company for a product is basically saying "yes, I approve of this, do more of it, all of it." Not buying a product is saying either "this doesn't intrest me" or "I don't approve of this." Pirating a game can either mean "what's paying for things :v:" or "I want to actually own my game and not have to jump through all these hoops to play it."

    I'm trying to understand what you're asking, but if this doesn't explain it, then I think we'll just be talking in circled. I'm bad at explaining these things.
     
  18. Stimil Rc.

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    I'll try to rephrase the point I was trying to make: Regardless of how much they dislike DRM, the fact remains that money is needed to both give them more of what they like and compensate the people who make those things, who need money to support their livelihood. The fact that they're willing to disregard this and get it for free raises the question of what motivated them to pay before DRM was a factor.

    They could boycott it, but that means that they're not getting the game. They could just pay for the game and find a cracked version so they can own it, but that means they're supporting DRM that they're already bypassing (and apparently nothing else). By getting a cracked version without spending anything, they're trying to have their cake and eat it, too.

    I apologize if the point I'm making is still unclear. If it is, then I agree that we'll just be going in circles.
     
  19. Chibisteven

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    Or they could be doing what I'm doing. Not buying the game until they remove the DRM. Not bothering with piracy because they rarely pirate anything to begin with because getting sued isn't something they want to deal with. I get people want to be paid, however I prefer not to be treated as potential criminal. So no sale from me, hell I won't even bother to pirate the dumb game because it isn't worth it to me at all.

    A couple of years ago I bought a piece of recording hardware that came with Pro Tools 10 (legally bought and paid for). I get the drivers for the hardware and it is working nicely. Now I try to install Pro Tools 10 but I'm finding out I have to register an iLok account, install a piece of software I didn't want that basically works like a rootkit and have a dongle plugged into one of my USB ports just to use the software. Eventually I find out I need to spend $80 on a support ticket just to get software support because I simply cannot get it to work at all. At this point I'm like fuck it, I'm done with this shit. You know what? The piece of hardware I have still works, but the included Pro Tools 10 software? I throw it in the trash along with the stupid dongle. I just use Audacity which is open source and free and it works just fine with the piece of hardware I bought all these years ago to this day.

    You know what SEGA did that pissed most people off? Not saying there was any DRM included until hours after the release. Delaying the game for 2 weeks to probably add this crap to it. Included Sonic 1 as apology for the delay preventing people from being able to refund their purchase because Valve counts it as released through their automated systems. Valve backtracks on their policy and SEGA basically gets away with ripping a ton of people off in the process. It's stuff like that makes me glad I didn't pre-order this at all. And after reading about this crap that happened, I'll never pre-order any game from anyone, ever because I know the kind of games these companies can now play in order to rip others off.

    Denuvo is far from necessary, period. Good luck using this game in about 5-10 years at the least. I think Overlord was a little too generous with that 20 year comment.
     
  20. nineko

    nineko

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    Anyway, here's an old XKCD:
    [​IMG]
     
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