When Doom Eternal got “Update 1” earlier this month, it came with a rather unpleasant surprise: Denuvo Anti-Cheat which was always-on and hogging system resources even when owners of the game were only in singleplayer. Now, thankfully, we have word that it will be removed.
Executive producer Marty Stratton, once again went to Reddit to make a community post addressing the issue. This is the exact same way he cleared the air when it came to another controversy in the release of the soundtrack and id Software cutting ties with composer Mick Gordon.
Like the post about the OST, this statement is rather long and detailed. We’ll summarise here and you can read the full thing here if you’re so inclined.
Firstly why was the Anti-Cheat needed in the first place? Doom Eternal’s Battlemode, while competitive, isn’t a standard hardcore multiplayer experience. Despite this Stratton remarks that this kernel-level solution is necessary as it’s the most effective way to stop cheating, and people complained about Doom 2016’s arena FPS multiplayer not having any Anti-Cheat added for a while.
The upcoming Invasion system, where players can enter the singleplayer world of others as demons, also warranted this Anti-Cheat to protect players who opt into that experience.
“Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration. With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update. As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater,” Stratton writes.
On top of all that Stratton also wanted to address other key points of this mess: the Anti-Cheat affecting performance in the game and the role of publisher Bethesda in the ordeal.
“Many have unfortunately related the performance and stability issues introduced in Update 1 to the introduction of anti-cheat. They are not related. Through our investigation, we discovered and have fixed several crashes in our code related to customizable skins. We were also able to identify and fix a number of other memory-related crashes that should improve overall stability for players. All of these fixes will be in our next PC update,” Stratton says.
Posts like this pointing out massive performance drops after Update 1 showed this problem in action.
As for Bethesda, Stratton states that the notion of Denuvo Anti-Cheat being forced onto id Software and then Doom Eternal is “simply untrue”. Much of the post is dedicated to the executive producer reiterating the fact that, on paper, Denuvo Anti-Cheat was a good solution for what the developer needed at the time.
We have to wonder how the review bombing of the game affected the decision to remove Anti-Cheat.