Anti-piracy firm Denuvo acquired by digital security outfit Irdeto

Denuvo’s anti-piracy tech has been divisive in the gaming world, with some complaining that it restricts their gaming habits or stifles modding communities. But few will dispute that it has been unusually successful in its main goal of preventing piracy, and to a certain extent, cheating. Successful enough, anyway, to be picked up by Irdeto, a broader digital security concern that added Denuvo’s tech and staff to its stable today.

Denuvo-protected games have generally been protected from attempts to “crack” them and produce a freely distributable copy, with the earliest versions going months before scene groups found a way around the tech. As usual, the arms race continued over the years, pirates and anti-pirates working to get the better of one another, with varying success.

Still, with a huge proportion of sales coming from the initial week or month (if not the first hour), even a temporary bulwark against would-be pirates may be considered a big win.

The details of the deal are not disclosed in the press release, but it appears that Denuvo will remain whole and “operate as usual,” including sales, a department often put on the chopping block in an acquisition like this.

There has been growing opposition to obtrusive DRM and anti-piracy measures over the last few years, with DRM-free shops like Humble and GOG gaining market and gamer goodwill. But there’s no doubt that the mainstream games business still relies heavily on security measures like Denuvo’s to secure its nine-figure investments against day-one tampering and duplication. That makes it big business.