Update: Sega has released a statement saying they've fixed the always online issues. However, Denuvo DRM, and controller issues still remain with the game at this time.
After Sonic Mania’s PC version launched two weeks after the console versions, gamers were surprised to see an always-online requirement, as well as the undisclosed use of Denuvo DRM.
Following the outburst of complaints online, SEGA issued a statement on Steam, saying the team is currently investigating the issue as “Sonic Mania is intended to be played offline.” SEGA's announcement reveals that Sonic Mania's PC version uses DRM. Weirdly enough, Sonic social media coordinator Aaron Webber also encouraged gamers to send their DRM issues to SEGA, either on DRM or the always online requirement right now.
Additionally, the developers of Sonic Mania for console were quick to point out that Sega had handled the PC version of the game, with Stealth of Headcanon in particularly criticizing the decision in the comments (as captured before it appears it was deleted.)
Developer Christian Whitehead, known as taxman in the community and another key figure in the development of Sonic Mania was more tactful, stating instead that DRM wasn't something they had control over and to contact Sega about it. He also retweeted Webber's statements.
While not all games with the anti-tampering software impose an always-online requirement, SEGA apparently chose the wrong DRM or settings for Sonic Mania. Typically, games with Denuvo’s DRM only require occasional call-ins from online, often every few weeks or if there's a hardware change, but Denuvo is often partnered with another DRM mechanism. Even if cracked 10 or 14 days after launch, the Denuvo DRM may have provided its use due to the large number of sales that happen around a game's launch.
While SEGA has yet to address the issue, Steam users have already devised a way to bypass the online requirement without cracking Denuvo, which only takes about five minutes to do:
1. Make a copy of SonicMania.exe 2. Open SonicMania.exe in a hex editor 3. Go to 1CAABE 4. Overwrite the byte with: EB
Before change: 75 30 After change: EB 30
---------------- A more foolproof guide by SenMithrarin85:
1) download hxd and install it 2) make a copy of the game's exe 3) open hxd and then click file>open 4) open the sonicmania.exe 5) press ctrl+g in the box that appears, type 1CAABE and then press enter 6) the program will navigate to 2 values before a 30 7) Do not move the cursor. Type EB 8) it should read EB 30 9) press ctrl+s and close the program 10) replace the game's exe witht he edited one 11) play offline!
Despite the implementation of an anti-tampering tool, hackers are reportedly plaguing the Time Attack leaderboards. While it's easy to accuse skilled players against cheating, finishing a level in one millisecond is extreme.
Aside from the online requirement, SEGA acknowledged it is looking into other PC-specific issues for Sonic Mania. "We're also investigating other issues like controller support, these are all PC specific things that Christian and the team have been working on these last few weeks."
TechRaptor has reached out to SEGA regarding its DRM implementation and we will update the story once we learn more.
Sonic Mania is retro 2D side-scrolling game featuring reimagined levels from the original Sonic games. If you want to learn more about it, we reviewed it on consoles, with our own Alex Santa Maria giving it a 9 out of 10 and calling it the sequel to 2D Sonic fans had long been waiting for. The game is currently available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
What do you think about the inclusion of DRM in Sonic Mania's PC version? Are you also having issues? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.