Denuvo, the company behind the world’s most famous video game anti-piracy system, has been sold. The buyer is global anti-piracy outfit Irdeto, which specializes in protecting all kinds of content, with an emphasis on the audio-visual sector.
“Irdeto has acquired Denuvo, the world leader in gaming security, to provide anti-piracy and anti-cheat solutions for games on desktop, mobile, console and VR devices,” Irdeto said in a statement.
The news comes a day after Denuvo’s latest protection was defeated by pirates after a couple of months in the wild.
Denuvo is one of the more fiendish and infamous pieces of anti-piracy tech from the last few years. Now defunct piracy group 3DM previously claimed Denuvo protection too difficult to crack when it was first released, declaring that “piracy might disappear”. Of course that claim proved to be baseless as Denuvo would later go on to be cracked in a single day in the case of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
And just this week the newest version of Denuvo, version 4.8, has apparently been cracked as well. Games continue to rely on Denuvo protection and will likely continue to do so. This is why the surprise announcement of Denuvo being sold to Irdeto was so interesting. The sale could signal a new series of development for Denuvo that could improve its resistance to crackers.
“In joining with Irdeto, we are bringing together a unique combination of security expertise, technology and enhanced piracy services to aggressively address security challenges that customers and gamers face from hackers.”
“Denuvo provides technology and services for game publishers and platforms, independent software vendors, e-publishers and video publishers across the globe. Current Denuvo customers include Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, Warner Bros and Lionsgate Entertainment, with protection provided for games such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Football Manager, Injustice 2 and others.”
Irdeto says that Denuvo will “continue to operate as usual” with all of its staff retained – a total of 45 across Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the US. Denuvo headquarters in Salzburg, Austria, will also remain intact along with its sales operations.
“The success of any game title is dependent upon the ability of the title to operate as the publisher intended,” says Irdeto CEO Doug Lowther.
Irdeto has a long history of acquiring anti-piracy companies and technologies. They include Lockstream (DRM for content on mobile phones), Philips Cryptoworks (DVB conditional access system), Cloakware (various security services), Entriq (media protection), BD+ (Blu-ray protection), and BayTSP (anti-piracy monitoring). Irdeto was also instrumental in helping bring down pirate IPTV providers in some countries by assisting in the investigations to identify the operators.