In context: Most major AAA publishers use some form of DRM in their games, but Denuvo is certainly among the most popular solutions around. Though it’s occasionally seen early cracks, typically Denuvo does a great job of protecting early sales by delaying piracy for at least a couple of weeks. However, exactly how much publishers pay for this privilege has always been an unknown… until now.
Reddit account “FCKDRM” (which oddly, is the same name GOG uses for its anti-DRM initiative) discovered this information by examining a set of documents released by the “Egregor” hack — a ransomware attack that resulted in the publication of private data belonging to both Ubisoft and Crytek.
Among that data is what appears to be a contract between Crytek and Denuvo, signed by representatives from both parties: Denuvo Managing Director Reinhard Blaukovitsch and Crytek CEO Avni Yerli. In the document, Denuvo lays out the prices Crytek needs to pay to license its anti-piracy tech for Crysis 1 and 2’s remasters — though the latter remains unannounced.
The fees start with two payments of €60,000 and €80,000 for Denuvo’s anti-tamper protection and “unique encryption.” Combined, that amounts to €140,000, or €280,000 for both games, and it covers Crysis 1 and 2 Remastered for 12 months from the date the games initially go on sale. Once that 12-month period is up, Crytek can optionally extend protection for another €2,000 per month.
Crytek is also required to pay an additional one-off fee of €60,000 within 30 days of reaching the 500,000 unit sales mark (or 500,000 “cumulative first time activations”). Furthermore, for every additional platform Crytek decides to sell its games on, it will incur a one-off fee of €10,000, and all WeGame sales incur a €0.40 fee for each first time activation.
We don’t know how much Crytek wound up paying as we don’t have sales figures for Crysis Remastered, but it was undoubtedly a sizable chunk of change, and other publishers probably pay similarly-high fees for access to Denuvo. However, these companies clearly feel the expense is worth it since Denuvo continues to find its way into new titles.