Denuvo mobile DRM brings controversial security software to phones

The controversial digital rights management (DRM) solution, which has previously been exclusive to certain partnered PC games, is now on its way to phones and tablets via a new form of Denuvo mobile DRM. Titled Mobile Game Protection, the security software is intended to prevent reverse engineering, debugging, and generally changing the game in any unintended way. These solutions are designed to combat piracy and cheating within the mobile game space, said to be prevalent due to the rapid growth of the mobile games industry.

This sounds great for developers and publishers, who should see the hard work and finances poured into the creation and maintenance of their apps protected, as well as legitimate gamers, who should experience something closer to the game’s intended gameplay balance. That’s ideal world stuff, however, as the presence of Denuvo DRM has been widely criticized for hamstringing the performance of a number of PC games in the past. Examples range from fighting game sequel Tekken 7 to retro Sonic the Hedgehog revival Sonic Mania and Tequilla Works’ action-adventure game RiME.

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Denuvo as a company seems to be well aware of its less-than-stellar reputation in this department, stating that its new Mobile Game Protection solution will only cause “minimal impact on user’s gameplay experience.” Still, “minimal” isn’t ideal where most players would like to see none. Developers, on the other hand, shouldn’t feel any impact on their workload when it comes to the implementation of Denuvo’s mobile DRM, as it requires no source code and thus no real effort on their end.

Denuvo will handle the heavy lifting, coming up with a bespoke plan for individual games based on “how hackers could take advantage of your game’s design and architecture,” according to Denuvo managing director Reinhard Blaukovitsch. Additionally, developers will be able to configure their protection levels in a variety of ways. Since the solution can also be added to an already final product, we may find that Denuvo is more widespread on mobile than PC, owing to its comparative simplicity.