Denuvo Anti-Cheat comes to PS5 — here's why some people are upset

Girl playing PS5
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Gaming cheats are about to get some unwelcome company on the PS5. Platform security company Irdeto says its Denuvo Anti-Cheat technology will join the PS5 Tools and Middleware program, giving game makers the ability to flummox anyone trying to get an unfair advantage when gaming. 

Denuvo can currently be found on PC, Android and iOS. According to Irdeto, the company has covered more than 2 billion unique game installs and secured more than 1,000 games. 

"Cheating ruins video games for honest players," said Reinhard Blaukovitsch, managing director of Denuvo, Irdeto in a press release announcing the move to PS5. "This can lead to lower engagement, game traffic and shrinking revenues for game publishers. We are really proud be able to help the world’s most talented developers to bring rich experiences for gamers on PlayStation 5."

The sales pitch by Denuvo essentially claims that if a game has a rocky launch due to cheaters, that could mean major losses in revenue for publishers and developers. Denuvo's goal, according to the release, is "protecting the developers’ investment, where approximately 70% of their revenue is earned in the first two weeks after the launch of a game."

Irdeto also says that the Denuvo is currently in place for a number of PS5 launch titles, although it did not specify which. 

It should also be noted that cheating on console is far more rare than on PC. Because consoles are a closed system, and generally require a development kit, it's more difficult for bespoke programs to be made. PC is open by comparison, making it easier for cheaters to create an aimbot program and gain an unfair advantage over others in Call of Duty Warzone.

It's uncertain if Denuvo can help determine if people are using outside peripherals, like mice and keyboards, to gain a leg up against controller players on PS5.

Denuvo's technology is not new to PC gamers. It's been in many popular games, like Valorant, and has allowed developers to catch cheaters using aimbots or other programs. 

Some have claimed in the past that Denuvo can inhibit game performance. But that complaint seems to mostly apply to digital rights management (DRM) protection. That technology is used to ensure a game being played is authentic. 

Denuvo preemptively addressed this concern when announcing its availability for PS5 games:

"Developed by security experts and video game enthusiasts, Denuvo’s technology has no negative impact on in-game performance and its non-intrusive methodology ensures the developer’s workflow is never impacted."

Still, some PS5 gamers are concerned. 

Surprisingly, it seems the dialogue on Twitter is somewhat level-headed. Many gamers are pointing out that Denuvo has been on PS4, and games played just fine. Remember, this is Denuvo's much lighter Anti-Cheat, not its heavy Anti-Tamper software used for piracy protection. 

Denuvo Anti-Cheat has already been on a handful of PS5 launch titles, and nobody has noticed. It's likely that Denuvo will cause little-to-no hinderance in gaming performance moving forward. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.