Denuvo DRM prompts outcry from Sonic Mania players
Divisive anti-piracy software reportedly prevents offline play
Sega has come under fire from PC users over the inclusion of controversial DRM in Sonic Mania.
Reports have emerged that the retro platformer features Denuvo, an anti-piracy software that has been widely criticised by the PC gaming community.
Since Denuvo requires online authentication, it is reportedly preventing users from playing Sonic Mania without an internet connection, despite having no online multiplayer or other functionality.
The inclusion is not the only issue - the presence of Denuvo was apparently not declared in the game's listing on Steam. Sega is putting this to rights, according to a statement on Sonic Mania's Steam page.
"Like you, we've noticed an error in the Steam store not mentioning the DRM for Sonic Mania," the statement reads. "We're fixing that now.
"Sonic Mania is intended to be played offline and we're investigating reports on that... Please bear with us while we collate and investigate problems that are being brought to our attention."
Sadly this amendment was not quick enough to prompt a barrage of negative reviews, with Eurogamer showcasing a few choice quotes from users who declare themselves "beyond digusted", "violated" and demanding refunds.
Fortunately, the game's overall reviews remain mostly positive, matching the critical consensus. GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Sega for comment and clarification on this matter.
Sonic Mania was released digitally on consoles earlier this week, and has so far been a critical hit. It also sold well enough to be No.1 in the UK charts - if those charts included download games.
Denuvo is regularly criticised for slowing down game's performances. The company has denied such claims as recently as June, specifically with regards to acclaimed puzzle adventure Rime but the publisher still removed the DRM from its game to appease angry consumers.
[UPDATE]: Sega provided a further statement about the matter:
"We'd like to thank the community for their honest feedback with regards to Sonic Mania on PC. We've found the problem within the game code that was stopping people playing offline and it's been corrected by the dev team. The fix is now being tested by SEGA QA to ensure it is working properly and we'll let you know when it will be implemented via our social channels ASAP. We've looked into the DRM complaints and can confirm this was not the cause of the problem. We apologise for any inconvenience any of the bugs may have caused players of the PC version at launch and would like to reassure them again, that as with this particular bug, we are on the case and working on fixes so everyone can have an uninterrupted and enjoyable experience playing Sonic Mania both online and offline."