Image: id Software/Bethesda Softworks

The review bombing of DOOM Eternal may have been childish, but it appears to have been a great way of getting Bethesda’s attention, as that avalanche of negativity has compelled id Software to investigate and remove Denuvo Anti-Cheat from the game. The kernel-mode driver has been responsible for severe technical issues, which include instability and performance degradation.

“Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration,” wrote executive producer Marty Stratton on r/Doom. “With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update. As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater.”

According to Stratton, Denuvo Anti-Cheat was included for the following reasons:

  • Protect BATTLEMODE players from cheaters now, but also establish consistent anti-cheat systems and processes as we look ahead to more competitive initiatives on our BATTLEMODE roadmap
  • Establish cheat protection in the campaign now in preparation for the future launch of Invasion – which is a blend of campaign and multiplayer
  • Kernel-level integrations are typically the most effective in preventing cheating
  • Denuvo’s integration met our standards for security and privacy
  • Players were disappointed on DOOM (2016) with our delay in adding anti-cheat technology to protect that game’s multiplayer

Stratton also claimed that some of the performance and stability issues had nothing to do with Denuvo Anti-Cheat. “Through our investigation, we discovered and have fixed several crashes in our code related to customizable skins,” he explained. “We were also able to identify and fix a number of other memory-related crashes that should improve overall stability for players. All of these fixes will be in our next PC update.”

“Finally, we believe the performance issues some players have experienced on PC are based on a code change we made around VRAM allocation,” he added. “We have reverted this change in our next update and expect the game to perform as it did at launch.”

If all goes well, Update 1.1 should be available within a week.

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