Copy protection developer: “There is no such thing as unbreakable protection”

While crackers were succesful in beating the copy protection Denuvo this summer, the company that develops the copy protection believes it can win the war against pirates in the long term.


The Austrian copy-protection developer Denuvo has made one of the most succesful copy protections. The successor of SecuROM and Safedisc appears to be much more difficult to crack. Nevertheless, this summer, after working on cracking Denuvo for months, crackers found the first holes in the copy protection.

First a cracker called Voski managed to find a Steam backdoor that could be used to play Denuvo protected games for free. Later, a warez-group called CPY delivered a full-fledged crack for the game Rise of the Tomb Raider that was protected by Denuvo. Later also other games were cracked such as Doom and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

Nevertheless, Denuvo’s sales and marketing director Thomas Goebl is  satisfied with what his company achieved. In an interview with online magazine MCV he states, “there is no such thing as unbreakable protection. That’s something we always tell our clients to help manage their expectations. Our scope is to prevent early cracks for every title. We want to allow an initial window when a game is released to have an uncracked version and thus guarantee sales”.

The first six weeks are seen as critical, that timeframe should be sufficient for most game developers to sell most of their copies.

Denuvo CEO Reinhard Blaukovitsch also acknowledges that there are other solutions to fighting piracy. For example, the game The Witcher III from CD Projekt Red launched without DRM but used different prices in different countries. Blaukovitsch argues that some companies use creative ways of privacy but others simply  have more trust in DRM because no matter, there are always people that don’t want to pay. In that case his company can help and it will play the cat and mouse game with crackers.

And that game is always the same, according to Blaukovitsch, “we analyse how the crack was done and then we update our protection.”