The highly anticipated Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has barely been out for over a day and already the piracy protection program has been cracked. The team implemented what has previously been very successful against piracy attempts, the Denuvo DRM. One group of piracy loving players took that as a challenge and completely destroyed it.
So far, there has been no public acknowledgement from either Warner Bros. or Denuvo concerning the crack. If the team proceeds in the usual means in response to the issue, the DRM will be removed by the publisher. This step is made to ensure that PC performance isn't hindered in a negative way - the downside? By taking down the DRM, piracy affecting the latest title will be made infinitely easier - though less than 24 hours ... it might be worth just taking it down. It is surprising to see this done successfully so soon after launch, so who knows what the publisher will ultimately do in this case.
So who was responsible for the impressive (unfortunate) crack? The group that accomplished this piracy feat is fairly well-known: CODEX. This group has targeted Denuvo in the past, and efficiently so, making many wonder why the DRM program hasn't been declared dead already.
Turns out, many publishers already do consider the program dead - Bethesda made the last minute decision to pull the DRM support from their latest title launch: Evil Within 2. For a publisher that has stated in the past that they are sticking with the anti-piracy program; it was a shocking move but one that could prove not to have any real impact. The hackers are already in, Denuvo has already been manipulated. Perhaps it is time for publishers and developers alike to put this particular DRM to bed.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.