DOOM Eternal anti-cheat update irks gamers, posts negative Steam reviews

DOOM is an incredibly popular and long-running franchise with DOOM Eternal continuing that success. Unfortunately, it is getting known for the wrong reasons ever since the company rolled out its first update. Bethesda released an update which includes the controversial Denuvo Anti-Cheat software. People are not happy with the way the anti-cheat system works. Gamers do what gamers can! DOOM Eternal’s listing on Steam is bombarded with negative reviews as a sign of protest.

How does it work?

The controversy behind Denuvo Anti-Cheat system is the way it functions. The problem uses kernel-level access. To make it worse, the Anti-Cheat software stays behind even after uninstalling DOOM Eternal. The kernel driver sends information to an Amazon Web-services backend server which runs the cheat detection system. It also decreases performance and creates instability issues. There’s also the ‘always online’ requirement even when playing the single-player campaign. You also cannot play the single-player without the pre-installed Denuvo system. Gamers are not happy about the forceful inclusion of a third-part DRM, practically calling it spyware.

Irdeto’s response and the aftermath

Irdeto, the company behind Denuvo, did post the following clarification:

Denuvo by Irdeto is a GDPR-compliant third-party data processor and it’s in our best interest to avoid the collection of any personally identifiable information. Unlike other anti-cheat solutions, our Anti-Cheat solution does not take screenshots, scan your file system or stream shellcode from the internet. We collect information on how the OS interacts with the game and send the information to Amazon-hosted servers for cheat detection.

But irrespective of the company claims, many strongly believe that using a kernel-level access driver opens that security risk. Many believe that this will happen, and its a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. It puts Bethesda is a peculiar position. It is clear the studio wants to have a system to handle cheaters to preserve the joy of multiplayer gameplay,

DOOM Eternal Steam Review graph May 2020

While some community members are recommending to uninstall the game and Denuvo, some want their money back. For now, it doesn’t hurt DOOM as a franchise. it will affect the gamer’s trust in the short run if Bethesda sits on the problem for a very long time. At this point, it wouldn’t matter if anyone believes if the concerns are warranted.  However, gamers need Bethesda needs to do something about it. It can make a compromise by excluding Denuvo anti-cheat system for those using the single-player campaign. The company just needs to be quick on their feet.

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