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Tequila Works and Grey Box had previously announced that the DRM for the PC version of Rime would be removed if it were cracked. Well, in just five days the DRM was cracked and a cracked version of the game was made available online. So, now the DRM will be removed.
The news comes courtesy of a post over on the official Grey Box website, where a community manager for the publisher explained what the current deal is regarding Rime and its DRM. Tim "Dariuas" Slager's post explains that they originally had Denuvo anti-tamper software on Rime to protect it from pirates. A lot of gamers complained that Denuvo causes major problems with the game. Grey Box's response was that the DRM would be removed if it managed to get cracked. The game was cracked, so the latest update removes the DRM.
Five days after the PC launch of Rime, the cracking scene managed to get into the executable and spill all of its guts, removing the DRM and putting the exe back together so it could be distributed across the usual sites. One of the things noted by the cracker was that he found Denuvo executing hundreds of triggers a second, which caused major slowdown in the performance of Rime on PC. This form of digital rights management resulted in every legitimate customer having to deal with a lot of slowdown and performance hiccups.
The sad reality was that those who pirated Rime and used the cracked file essentially gained access to a game that had improved performance and frame-rates over those who actually paid for the game.
It's this exact kind of anti-consumer DRM measures that frustrate the gaming community, because pirates still get the game for free and without the performance issues, but those who pay for the game legitimately have to deal with all of the setbacks and roadblocks of DRM.
Thankfully Grey Box and Tequila Works upheld the deal of removing the DRM if it managed to get cracked. With update 1.01 the DRM has been removed from the PC version of Rime. Slager mentions in the post that the team isn't done with the game yet, and there will be additional patches to help improve the game and iron out the optimization even further.
What's sad here is that the cracking scene is getting more and more emboldened to break through Denuvo's anti-tamper software. They're managing to do so in shorter and shorter time frames. It took them just five days to crack Resident Evil 7, which came out earlier this year. For Arkane Studios' Prey it took the scene just a little bit longer, but it was cracked in just 10 days time.
Gamers continue to complain about Denuvo and how it messes up the experience for those who actually do pay for the game, punishing actual consumers while those who pirate the game for free get the better overall experience. It's a really backwards way of doing business, yet that's the current landscape in gaming when it comes to copyright protection and digital rights management.
On the upside, at least Grey Box and Tequila Works managed to remove the DRM from Rime, so that's a good thing for PC gamers who did actually purchase a copy from Steam.