In a nutshell: Denuvo protection technologies are now available to Nintendo Switch developers. Irdeto, the company behind the controversial digital rights management software, said its software is now available on the Nintendo Developer Portal (NDP) as authorized Switch middleware. As the first security partner on the portal, devs will now be able to access their Switch Emulator Protection to shield launch titles from piracy.
As Irdeto highlights, even if the PC version of a game ships with piracy protection, the Switch version can be emulated from day one and played on the PC. This effectively circumvents piracy protections and works with any Switch game.
Irdeto said blocking unauthorized emulations on PC can allow studios to maximize revenue during their game’s launch window, which is when a game experiences its peak earnings potential.
No doubt aware of its reputation, the company was quick to point out that its tech integrates seamlessly into build toolchains with no impact on a game’s performance.
Irdeto, who purchased Denuvo in 2018, said its flagship game security product is used on over 1,000 games and has registered more than two billion unique installs.
As for controversy, there has certainly been a lot of it over the years. Hackers have been in a constant cat-and-mouse game of cracking Denuvo protection, only for its maker to release the next version with hardened security. For others, the bigger issue has to do with the alleged performance issues brought about by the software’s implementation.
Just last month, Irdeto sought to prove that Denuvo doesn’t impact game performance by creating a program where “trusted media” will get two copies of a game to test if there is any meaningful performance difference between the one with Denuvo and the one without.
As we highlighted at the time, independent testing would definitely help paint a better picture of Denuvo’s impact on a particular game. The trusted media program is expected to be up and running later this year, but Irdeto has not yet provided a solid launch window.