Denuvo is one of the most widely implemented anti-piracy systems in games, and one that has given a lot to talk about. It was shown at the time that matches with Denuvo had an impact on title performance, and it was also shown that on some occasions the games were hacked on Day 1 despite having it, while in on other occasions this has not been the case. possible to break the game thanks to him. Either way, there is an additional cost to developers who decide to implement Denuvo in their games, which we’ll summarize below.
How much does it cost to implement Denuvo anti-piracy in games?
Some time ago, an official document was leaked whereby Crytek agreed with Denuvo to implement its anti-piracy system in Crysis Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered, a document in which you can clearly see what the developers are paying for. implement this system.
From the information contained in said document, we extract the following costs in summ ary form:
- 140,000 dollars for the first 12 months of protection.
- 2,000 dollars additional for each month of protection from the first year.
- 60,000 dollars extra for products that receive 500,000 activations in 30 days.
- 0.40 dollars for each unique activation on the WeGame platform.
- 10,000 dollars additional for each digital platform on which the game is published.
This means that if, for example, a developer releases a new game with Denuvo anti-piracy protection and it releases on Epic Games and Steam, and the game succeeds and sells over 500,000 units in the first 30 days after that. its launch, it will cost 220,000 dollars, no more and no less, and even if the game did not sell 500,000 units in the first month, the cost would be 160,000 dollars.
If we assume we’re talking about a triple-A game that sells 500,000 units in the first month (for reference, for example, God of War on PS4 sold 5 million units in its first month after launch) and has a cost of 59.90 dollars for buyers, we are talking about an income of about 30 million, so these 220,000 dollars do not seem too much in comparison. However, you have to keep in mind that not all games have the success of God of War (which is also console, not PC).
In addition, Denuvo prices increased a bit later; According to reports, in the past a triple A game that sold over 500,000 units had a fixed cost of 100,000 dollars, whereas if it sold for less the cost was 50,000 dollars. For independent games sold for less than 100,000 units, the cost was 10,000 dollars.
How is the price of PC games increasing?
Earlier we talked about what a developer “earns” from selling a game, but the income doesn’t equal the benefits because obviously, in addition to Denuvo’s anti-piracy system, they have development costs, such as payment for licenses, physical equipment and of course workers’ salaries. To put that in perspective, Grand Theft Auto V had a development cost of $ 137 million and they also invested an additional $ 128 million in marketing, bringing its total cost to $ 265 million.
Another example is the famous Cyberpunk 2077, for which we still do not have data on its marketing investment but we know that it cost more than 121 million dollars to develop it. What is evident is that games are becoming more and more complex and of better graphical quality, and their cost increases so that this, added to the additional costs of marketing and of course of anti-piracy systems and coupled with the inflation makes PC games more and more expensive, and although for the moment the stipulated “normal” price is around 60 dollars for PC, it will inevitably increase further.