Doom Eternal is a whole lot of fun, but fans have been divided by one recent addition to the game. With the first major post-launch update for Doom Eternal, Id Software made it very clear to fans that the company would not be allowing players to cheat in the online multiplayer portions of the game.
To this end, the patch added Denuvo Anti-Cheat software to the game, which would in theory help to curb the number of hackers and unfair players, particularly for PC gamers. At the time, Id Software reassured fans that “Denuvo Anti-Cheat does not take screenshots, scan your file system, or stream shellcode from the internet.”
However, many fans were less than pleased with the implementation of Denuvo Anti-Cheat. Some people didn’t trust the software at all, taking issue with the idea of the software requiring kernel-level access to their PC. In other words, there was fear that the permissions granted to Denuvo Anti-Cheat could potentially leave gamers’ computers open to even worse attacks. Denuvo Anti-Cheat was also blamed by quite a few gamers for causing multiple bugs and glitches that have arisen in recent weeks.
Fans also took issue with the fact that the Anti-Cheat wasn’t exclusive to the multiplayer portions of the game. This led to some people essentially boycotting the game until the software was removed As one gamer wrote on Reddit, “I don’t even play the multiplayer mode this is intended for, yet I must deal with such a massive security flaw if I desire to simply play the single player campaign. What a short-sighted and overzealous implementation, I can’t imagine that anyone at ID or Bethesda who knows how computers actually work gave the go ahead on this. I uninstalled the anti-cheat, wrote up a cautionary review on Steam, and will be refraining from launching the game until this is addressed.”
Following a ton of backlash on social media, Id Software has announced that Denuvo Anti-Cheat will be removed in the next update for the game. Id Software will also be exploring new avenues for preventing cheating in multiplayer, but it’s unclear what the next step will be.
The controversy was addressed directly in a Reddit post from Doom Eternal Executive Producer Marty Stratton. In the post, Stratton outlined the fact that Id has heard customer concerns and will be working on alternate ways of approaching them. In addition, it seems that many of the bugs seen since the update was released will be fixed.
“Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration. With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update,” explained Stratton.
Stratton continued, “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, Id Software received complaints related to bugs that were present in the new update, with many users blaming these issues on the presence of Denuvo Anti-Cheat. However, Stratton explained, “our decision to remove the anti-cheat software is not based on the quality of the Denuvo Anti-Cheat solution. Many have unfortunately related the performance and stability issues introduced in Update 1 to the introduction of anti-cheat. They are not related.”
In other words, Id Software’s decision to remove Denuvo Anti-Cheat software from Doom Eternal apparently has nothing to do with performance issues. The folks at Id are simply attempting to address player concerns and alleviate them.
It’s worth noting that Doom Eternal isn’t the only game to come under fire for its anti-cheat software in recent months. Riot Games’ Valorant features a software called Riot Vanguard that has been the subject of much debate. The biggest issue people have with Vanguard seems to be that it starts running when a players’ computer is booted. This is meant to help Riot catch hackers who might try to run a hack before the game is opened. Still, it has raised privacy concerns for Valorant players. To combat these concerns, Riot Games has offered to pay $100,000 to any hackers who can prove that Riot Vanguard can be exploited.
The similarities between the two situations has not gone unnoticed by fans. Luckily, there seems to be a concerted effort from both companies to address fan concerns.