New Denuvo ‘Switch Emulator Protection’ Tech Launches, And Players Are Worried

Switch Animal Crossing Bob
Image: Nintendo Life / Zion Grassl

Cybersecurity company Irdeto has revealed some brand new tech to help protect Switch games from piracy. Denuvo — a somewhat controversial DRM technology first used on FIFA 15 back in 2014 — aims to integrate effortlessly into the developer’s build toolchain without impacting the game itself as well as inserting checks into the code to block playing the game on emulators.

As you’d expect, news of this ‘Nintendo Switch Emulator Protection’ tech hasn’t gone down particularly well online. Denuvo is already controversial with PC gamers as many have claimed it affects performance, from frame rate drops to longer load times — claims which the makers dispute. So when a game comes out on Steam with Denuvo (anti-piracy) included, players often make their feelings known. Sometimes, developers have gone back and removed the DRM software from their games post-release (as was the case with the Steam version of Rage 2).

Denuvo by Irdeto’s Managing Director Reinhard Blaukovitsch has said that the company is “excited to provide a solution that helps the developers and publishers to help fight the issue of Nintendo Switch piracy”. The company has also said that “Nintendo consoles have long suffered from piracy issues and the Switch is no different”, and it’s aiming to change that, presumably by providing this technology for studios to load into their Switch game during development.

The company states the following on its webpage inviting developers and publishers to apply to use the technology:

Emulating any Nintendo Switch game on a PC is easy. And there are almost 4,500 of them available at present. Some gamers emulate titles on their release day, playing them without spending a penny.

By protecting your game with our solution, you force all players to buy it.

Switch owners have taken to Twitter to air their concerns, which is no surprise with how many questions over the past few years have surrounded the console’s performance compared to the competition. Add in the worries of DRM technology potentially making games perform worse, and you have a fair bit of noise.

Let us know what you think of this announcement in the comments!

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