In an almost unprecedented move, Katsuhiro Harada, the longtime producer and director of the Tekken series, has posted some messages on Twitter addressing recent performance issues that have popped up in the game.

In the tweets, he says that frame rate drops from certain moves like Akuma’s Shakunetsu Hadouken are not a problem of the GPU or CPU and thus lowering settings would not impact the frame rate drops. He then elaborated that it was a 3rd party middle-ware anti-tamper problem that is getting updated, and that they’ll have a fix “soon,” before explicitly confirming it was Denuvo.

Previously, reports have often come out about Denuvo causing issues but have been either unverifiable, of mixed results, or proved to be incorrect. Recently, Final Fantasy 15 recently came out with some mixed results, with Durante saying that Denuvo didn’t impact frames per second but did appear to cause a slowdown in loading times. Another report on Dark Side of Gaming, on the other hand, reported the pirated version of Final Fantasy XV ran better than the Steam release. Last year, indie game Rime had performance issues that many pointed at Denuvo after crackers said it was behind the issue, despite the developer and the anti-tamper company saying it was not, with Greybox stating that DRM had a very small performance hit.

Whenever any game with Denuvo has performance issues, typically the finger is pointed by at least part of the community for a variety of reasons, including: anti-DRM feeling, the company’s secretive nature, Denuvo’s prominence as a DRM solution, the history of Denuvo at Sony DADC (they developed SecuROM which had several controversies and does not work on Windows 10 due to security concerns), and, yes pirates. Controversies with it began as soon as the first game using it, Lords of the Fallen, was released and haven’t let up yet with no real resolution onto what, if any, impact it has on games, with several theories like it excessively reading/writing files being shot down. One thing that is also noted is that the anti-tamper solution requires occasional calls to the Denuvo servers and that has caused issues sometimes when servers have crashed preventing users from playing games.

This, though, marks a change in the conversation with a prominent industry figure saying that Denuvo is causing an issue with their game’s performance publicly. If it has happened before, it was kept behind closed doors, unlike Tekken 7‘s case.

We’ve reached out to Bandai Namco, Denuvo, and Irdeto, the company that bought Denuvo earlier this year, for further information and comment on this situation.

Do you think Denuvo is causing the performance issues? Should Bandai Namco remove Denuvo from the game? What are your thoughts on DRM in general? Let us know in the comments below!

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Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.