Back in October, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed: Origins which uses the latest version of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech. Not only that, but Ubisoft has protected Denuvo with VMProtect. The French company has put VMProtect on top of Denuvo. And while some may claim that this implementation is eating additional CPU cycles, Ubisoft has managed to protect its game from pirates for an entire month.
As we’ve already reported, Assassin’s Creed Origins scales well on more than four CPU cores. However, the in-game performance is similar on both quad-core and six-core CPUs. Moreover, there is no performance benefit when Hyper Threading is enabled, even though the game scales even on twelve CPU threads. On November 1st, Ubisoft claimed that the game’s protection system does not have any perceptible effect on performance.
This isn’t something new though. Watch_Dogs 2, another open-world game from Ubisoft, shows the exact same behaviour. However, and contrary to Origins, Watch_Dogs 2 does not use VMProtect over Denuvo; it only uses the Denuvo anti-tamper tech.
Now this is a big win for Ubisoft and Denuvo. However, this success is not entirely due to Ubisoft’s VMProtect + Denuvo combo. It appears that Denuvo has issued a new version of its anti-tamper tech; a version that has not been cracked yet by pirates.
The games that are using this new version of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech are Sonic Forces, Injustice 2, Football Manager 2018, Need for Speed Payback and Star Wars Battlefront 2. And all of them are still safe from pirates.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is available via UPLAY and Steam. And while we don’t know the exact numbers of its UPLAY sales, we can take a look at its Steam sales. According to SteamSpy’s data, the game has sold so far 367K copies. For comparison purposes, Unity has sold so far 575K copies and Syndicate has sold 452K. As such, we are pretty sure that Origins will top these two previous Assassin’s Creed games. Still, it will be interesting to see whether it will come close to the 1.5 million sales of Black Flag.
Our take on this? It was a really smart move from Denuvo to issue its new version prior to the release of the aforementioned triple-A games. There is no doubt that this new version of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech will get cracked. However, it will take a while and this time is enough to guarantee the first and most important sales of the games using it. It’s not a consumer-friendly approach, and we’d prefer if EA, Warner Bros and Ubisoft followed Bethesda’s example. However, we can all agree that – from a business perspective – it was a very smart move!