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Payday 3 removes DENUVO days ahead of its launch

Amidst debates on DRM's impact on performance, this decision to remove it from Payday 3 reflects a shifting stance in the gaming industry.

At this point, removing Denuvo, even if it doesn't have performance benefits, is a way to curry favor with the PC community.

In an unexpected twist, Starbreeze, the developer behind the much-anticipated first-person shooter game, Payday 3, is confirming excellent news just days before its release: Denuvo DRM, a contentious anti-cheat and anti-tampering system, will not be part of the game.

This announcement was succinctly conveyed in a post on Steam, "Hello heisters, we want to inform you that Denuvo is no longer in Payday 3."

Naturally, this message garnered a notably positive response from the amazingly patient community.

Denuvo, and DRMs, in general, aren't bad, but their reputation has tanked over the years.

This turn of events comes after a wave of criticism that targeted the inclusion of Denuvo in Payday 3. Two months prior to the announcement, a thread on the r/paydaytheheist subreddit vehemently voiced concerns over Denuvo's presence, and the general sentiment was negative. By addressing this point of contention, Starbreeze seems keen on ensuring an enthusiastic player community supports their game's launch. It's evident that they are listening to the feedback from a fan base that has stuck to them over the years.

Denuvo's reputation has always been divisive. Many believe that it hampers game performance and complicates game modding. Furthermore, DRM can render games completely unplayable during instances when authentication servers are down. The company behind Denuvo, Irdeto, has been quick to contest these allegations. To dispel rumors and clear its name, Irdeto recently unveiled plans to distribute two versions of games to media outlets: one with Denuvo and one without, the objective being to demonstrate that Denuvo doesn't impair game performance.

Yet, for many gamers, the issue is not just about game performance. DRM, especially one as rigorous as Denuvo, places constraints on the unobstructed use of the game. Reports from beta testers pointed towards significant performance issues in Payday 3, leading some to speculate whether the decision to remove Denuvo was influenced by this feedback.

It remains to be seen if Payday 3's existing anti-cheat and anti-piracy software will be enough.

However, it's essential to recognize the broader context of this situation. Other major titles like Resident Evil Village are removing Denuvo post-launch. Simultaneously, upcoming games like Tekken 8 have already decided against integrating Denuvo from the outset.

Such trends suggest a shifting perspective on the value and necessity of Denuvo, especially when considering all of the concerns associated with it.

In the case of Payday 3, the game was already designed as an always-online title with a Starbreeze account required to log in. This, to many fans, rendered Denuvo as a superfluous, redundant layer of security. Some speculate the removal of Denuvo was more about cost-saving measures than a genuine change of heart. Given that Payday 3 is an online-only game, the actual need for an additional layer like Denuvo might have seemed redundant, not to mention the extra costs associated with its implementation.

Payday 3 arrives a little over a decade after the release of Payday 2.

Regardless of the rationale behind this decision, one thing is evident: the gaming community, especially PC users, are a fan of the decision. This has been largely perceived as a win for the player community, underlining evolving dynamics between game developers and their audience. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, developers and publishers alike will need to strike a balance between securing their content and providing an optimal gaming experience. Time will tell if other developers will follow suit or if Denuvo will adapt to the changing demands of the market.

Payday 3, now free from the encumbrance of Denuvo, is now finally set to release worldwide on September 21, on the PC, PS5, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X, and will retail at $39.99.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5906

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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