Gotham Knights Briefly Dumped Its Anti-Piracy Protection

One photo shows a Superman doll palming his face as Batman stares blankly at him.

Image: DC/Warner Bros. / Kotaku / Willrow Hood (Shutterstock)

Gotham Knights got its first major post-launch patch on PC yesterday. The update focused on fixing online multiplayer errors and fixing some bugs. Unfortunately, it also temporarily crushed the Batman game’s Denuvo DRM protections, leaving it seemingly vulnerable to pirates. That’s one way to surprise them.

The PC patch for the struggling co-op adventure was released last night and it didn’t take long for game crackers to realize that the new build released on Steam was missing Denuvo. The news started circulating on sites like the CrackWatch subreddit and even led some to believe that Warner Bros. had intentionally removed the DRM. It hadn’t.

SteamDB records show that a new build that had the Denuvo anti-tamper protection back in place was released about 14 hours later, but the damage was clearly done. People who play the new pirate version of Gotham Knights are unlikely to be able to participate in the game’s multiplayer, a focal point of the loot-based brawler, and pirates won’t be able to enjoy future patch fixes or content updates. They will probably now be able to unlock the single player campaign.

Kotaku contacted Warner Bros. for comment.

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Denuvo protection is controversial among some PC users, in part because it limits how they can save and play a game. It is also widely believed to negatively affect the performance of PC games that use it. Often the DRM is removed by the game publishers weeks or months after launch, especially if and when it is eventually “cracked” by hackers. Rarely is it accidentally dropped and then recovered.

The bigger problem for Gotham Knights, of course, is that it’s just not that good, especially for a game that’s been in development for many years, is one of the first $70 new-gen exclusive titles, and is clearly inspired by the much better Arkham. trilogy of Batman games. While it’s not clear what new content Warner Bros. Montreal has in store in the future, it promises a much bigger performance update in the near future.

That patch is also aimed at consoles and fixes some framerate drops on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. While Gotham Knights is controversially locked at 30fps on the consoles, it often goes under that during certain scenes and while patrolling Gotham while large crowds of enemies are present. However, as Digital Foundry has reported, there are also plenty of performance issues on PC. Hopefully they will also be addressed.

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