Denuvo says Nintendo not involved with their Switch piracy protection, online connection not needed, game performance not impacted
Just yesterday, we learned that Denuvo Software Solutions GmbH, a company known for its anti-tamper technology and digital rights management (DRM) scheme, was working on something to squash, or at least greatly hamper Switch piracy. Today we learn that Denuvo is taking on this effort of their own volition.
A spokesperson for Denuvo confirmed in an email to Kotaku that Nintendo is not involved in this new Switch piracy prevention effort. Instead, it’s actually other companies that reached out to Denuvo to request such software. Along with that, Denuvo also said their piracy prevention methods would not require any sort of online checks. Finally, Denuvo claims their efforts won’t hinder game performance in any way.
You can see the full statement from Denuvo below.
Because of NDAs, we are not allowed to disclose company names, but we can say this solution comes from strong demand from publishing partners. Software publishers and Denuvo take great care to deliver the best gaming experience. The protection is designed not to affect the gamer’s experience, and it does not have any in-game performance impact. It is the same for this new solution when protection is only active in non-performance critical code parts.
We are aware that the Nintendo Switch is a mobile console and therefore has limited online capabilities, so we designed our solution to be fully offline, no online checks required.
As you know, dumping your bought game for backup purposes is a long-standing argument from pirates that is simply used to justify piracy. The majority of players use emulators with ROMs from pirate sources and are not self-dumped. And if they dump it themselves, they will require a jailbroken console to do that.
> As you know, dumping your bought game for backup purposes is a long-standing argument from pirates that is simply used to justify piracy.
The tired argument. There are multiple legitimate purposes and needs to back up your software. For example in my case, where my Wii system memory became unrecoverably corrupted, and Nintendo's solution was for me to pay them to fix it at a price worth about twice the value of the console itself. Also, I have at least one disc with bit rot. It was only ever used one time, then put back in its package, no physical damage possible. A couple years later, I tried to use it again and the data was unrecoverable.
Nintendo states in the back of their manuals (such as Super Mario Sunshine) that:
> "Back-up" or "archival" copies are not authorized and are not necessary to protect your software.
However, consider these scenarios:
1. You got a Nintendo game for Christmas and played that very day. The next day it doesn't work anymore for reasons you can't explain.
2. You've played your new Nintendo game for a week. You accidentally drop it on the floor, causing a scratch. The game is unplayable now.
3. You bought a used Nintendo game disc on ebay from the original owner, but the game it is unplayable even though it looks fine.
4. You bought a new Nintendo game from Gamestop, but the cashier didn't give you a receipt. The game works fine for a couple days, then stops working.
5. You got a Nintendo game for Christmas, and never opened it. A couple years later, you open it and discover, to your horror, it has bit rot and is unplayable. Fortunately, you have the gift receipt!
6. Your Wii U console gets corrupted, and you can't play any of your Nintendo games on it anymore.
7. You have a bunch of WiiWare and Virtual Console games you downloaded via Nintendo's eShop. In 2022, you put your Wii in storage. In 2025, your storage is ransacked and your Wii is stolen. It is now the year 2027 and you finally found a working used Wii.
What is Nintendo's official policy for dealing with these issues?
1. Nintendo will not help you, because you've played it before. They recommend buying another copy.
2. Nintendo will not help you, because there is physical damage. They recommend buying another copy.
3. Nintendo will not help you, because you didn't buy the game from Nintendo or an authorized retailer. They recommend buying another copy.
4. Nintendo will not help you, because you don't have the receipt. Also, you played the game you bought a couple times, so your warranty is long gone anyway. They recommend buying another copy.
5. Nintendo will not help you, because it's been more than 90 days since the purchase. They recommend buying another copy.
6. Nintendo "no longer offers factory repairs for the Wii U console". They recommend buying a used game system.
7. Nintendo will not help you, because all non-current Nintendo eShops have all fully closed down and you can no longer download the games you purchased. (We don't know the exact date, but at some point those downloads will become unavailable, as Nintendo has said: "In the future we will close all services related to the Wii Shop Channel, including the ability to redownload WiiWare and Virtual Console games"). I don't think Nintendo even has a recommendation for this one, because what possible solutions could there be here besides a backup copy?
So, in light of all that, I ask, "Nintendo, in what possible world could it be that backups are not necessary to protect my software?"
I love you Nintendo, but you've got to stop having your lawyers lie to your customers about this. As for me, I have never once played an illegally download game ROM.