Less than a week after it came out, ID Software has backpedaled on the Denuvo anti-cheat system they included with their first significant update to DOOM Eternal. In a post to the r/Doom subreddit, executive producer Marty Stratton informed the community that the anti-cheating system would be removed in their next update.
Stratton laid out the premises and goals the DOOM Eternal team was shooting for. Some of those goals were definitely about serving the fan base, such as trying to get ahead of any cheating problems compared to the handling of the issue when the 2016 version of DOOM came out.
However, the assertion that “Kernel-level integrations are typically the most effective in preventing cheating” seems a little questionable. Their effectiveness in a purely technical sense does not excuse the potential vulnerabilities they may introduce at what is the most fundamental level of the OS, and in this Stratton seems to be disregarding the possibility such a vulnerability could have come about.
It’s also interesting that Stratton is taking full responsibility for both the rollout of the anti-cheat software and its rollback.
It is important to note that our decision to include anti-cheat was guided by nothing other than the factors and goals I’ve outlined above – all driven by our team at id Software. I have seen speculation online that Bethesda (our parent company and publisher) is forcing these or other decisions on us, and it’s simply untrue.
Stratton further indicated that they are still looking at ways to prevent (or impede) cheating, particularly in regards to the upcoming Invasion gameplay mode, as well as finding ways to let campaign players play without having to ever worry about anti-cheat measures appearing on their systems.
For now, the PC-only update, which will remove the Denuvo anti-cheat, is slated to come out sometime next week. Where ID Software goes from that point is anybody’s guess.