Mass Effect Andromeda

PC gamers lament and complain incessantly about DRM; it's the bane of existence for some gamers. Despite complaints, most new games launch with debilitating or performance-crippling DRM or anti-tamper measures. Well, BioWare decided to cut some fans some slack by removing the DRM in Mass Effect: Andromeda in patch 1.09.

Polygon picked up the news from DSO Gaming, who noticed that in the latest roll-out patch for PC, the 1.09 version of Mass Effect: Andromeda no longer featured the latest version of Denuvo.

The removal of the anti-tamper is actually quite odd given that there were no active reports about the cracking scene messing with Denuvo's anti-tamper for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Then again, usually the cracking scene get on the case when challenged to do so, like what happened when Tequila Works said that it would only patch RIME and remove the Denuvo DRM if it were cracked; a couple of days later it was cracked.

In this case, the cracking community was mostly silent about BioWare's latest sci-fi epic. The DRM mostly went unnoticed and many gamers didn't say much about it given that they had a lot of other things to say about Mass Effect: Andromeda, from the animations to the dialogue, to the game's story, and the lack of romances for certain genders and orientations.

The removal of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech came as an absolute surprise to a lot of the gaming community because it was just something people didn't talk about. Even more than that, BioWare removed the DRM even before there were any big announcements about the DRM being cracked. Maybe the cracks came silently and so that's why it was removed?

In any case, it's so strange because what this means is that it's now easier for pirates and crackers to have their way with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Previously, those who pirated the game didn't have access to the most recent patched versions thanks to Denuvo, so the pirates had to play the game with the ugly old animations and a lot of the other UI problems, mechanical glitches and other hiccups that were present during the game's release. Without Denuvo, it means that pirates and crackers will be one step in sync with each new patch for Mass Effect: Andromeda.

It's like handing the game on a silver platter to the pirate community.

Now for some people who might be wondering why BioWare would even risk removing the DRM, sometimes it has to do with performance. Games like RIME or Just Cause 3 or Rise of the Tomb Raider or DOOM suffered from debilitating performance issues that caused a lot of paying customers problems with running the games. After the first few weeks of sales, the developers sometimes remove the DRM to alleviate the performance hardships on legitimate consumers. That's usually how it goes when it comes to Denuvo and brand-name (or mid-budget) game releases.

BioWare didn't just remove Denuvo, it also fixed some more of the animations during cinematics and dialogue sequences, as well as tackled some saving and loading issues, some quest progression blockers, and it finally added the new Platinum difficulty setting for the multiplayer mode.

Of course, all of those fixes and bug squashes paled in comparison to the fact that the Denuvo anti-tamper DRM was removed from Mass Effect: Andromeda.

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