Humankind Drops DRM Denuvo Before Release

Humankind Drops DRM Denuvo Before Release

The studio behind the highly anticipated 4X strategy game Humankind has announced that they are removing the controversial DRM Denuvo ahead of the game’s launch this August. 

Amplitude Studios creative director Romain de Waubert wrote that the Denuvo implementation is “not good enough” and will be wholly taken out of Humankind. The studio arrived at this decision after a series of beta tests conducted at the end of 2020. There are currently no plans to reapply Denuvo in Humankind

Denuvo is a contentious topic among the gaming community. While many developers use it to stave off video game piracy (or at least significantly delay it), it has faced severe criticism from gamers for causing performance issues, lowering frame rates, raising security issues, and requiring online play. Even Tekken 7 Director Katsuhiro Harada singled out Denuvo for drops in frame rate with his game. The additional load strains computers, which means gamers may need higher-end video cards and CPUs so that games can run smoothly. 

Tellingly, Capcom released a patch to fix stuttering in the Resident Evil Village PC release that was found to have been caused by Denuvo. Digital Foundry reports that even the cracked version of Village runs far better simply by having Denuvo absent from the game.



Developers do opt to remove Denuvo from their games, but only after it’s served its purpose, say when pirates cracked the game or after a significant amount of time has passed. This makes a pre-emptive removal from a big-ticket game like Humankind highly unusual.

Romain de Waubert states,


“We’ve been one of the most wishlisted games on Steam this year, so we know we’re going to be targeted by pirates, more so than any of our previous games. If Denuvo can hold off a cracked version, even just for a few days, that can already really help us to protect our launch.

“That being said, our priority is always the best possible experience for the players who buy our games and support us. Denuvo should never impact player performance, and we don’t want to sacrifice quality for you guys.” 


Humankind is set for release on August 17.

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