Payday 3 Removes Controversial "Anti-Tamper" Software After Massive Backlash From Fans

Before even being released, Payday 3 devs kept upsetting the fan base with questionable decisions, like the always-online requirement and using very controversial anti-tamper tech. Now, shortly ahead of the release, the devs shared a surprising update on Steam.

Payday 3 Keeps Upsetting Fans
Payday 3: Developer Starbreeze have changed their DRM plans. | © Starbreeze Studios/ EarlyGame

Developer Starbreeze had a good run with their announcements for Payday 3 for a long time. Lots of people, myself included, were excited to play the next installment.

In summer, however, the developers disappointed their fan base with controversial decisions. Not only did they confirm the always-online function through their Nebula service system, but also the use of Denuvo – an unpopular anti-tamper tech.

Denuvo Explained: Why The DRM Software is So Unpopular Among Gamers

Some of you may not know the Denuvo anti-tamper software, let's start here.

Denuvo is one of many anti-tamper tools on the market. Anti-cheat systems are almost as old as multiplayer game exist. Their mainly goal is to detect cheaters, banning them and in Denuvos case also to stop people from cracking and pirating games, by using a Digital Rights Management (DRM) software.

Payday 3 Beta: Release Date, How To Register, Start Date & Platforms

The key features from this DRM software include implementing anti-debugging, virtualization, needed online activation and hardware signing. Making it a tough nut to crack for cheaters and a technically good solution on the surface, but that's where the heart of controversy around Denuvo lies: The Anti-Cheat's kernel-level access.

If someone exploits the software, by gaining access to the kernel, the person can access almost everything stored on your computer. With its highest level of privileges on the computer, it's also widely believed to impact gaming performance on a larger scale.

Community and developers like Tekken 8 Director, Katsuhiro Harada, believe using Denuvo leads the game to increased loading times, lower frame rates and other performance issues. However, there is no solid evidence proving that the tool poses a security risk or causes poor gaming performance. Nevertheless, it still leaves a very unpleasant feeling...

Leading us back to the present and Payday 3!

Payday 3: Starbreeze Changes Plans Ahead Of Release

You usually won't see a game studio change its plans after fans criticize an unpopular decision – however, Starbreeze's latest reactions marks one of the rare exceptions. Just a few days ahead of the release, the devs shared an update on Steam, stating that "Denuvo is no longer in Payday 3". That's definitely good news for every Payday fan!

Pay Day 3 Release Date
Payday 3: Modding is essential for almost every PC game. | © Starbreeze Studios

It will be interesting to see how the launch will play out with the good news. Payday 3 releases on September 21, for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

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