Intel Resolves 'Alder Lake' Denuvo DRM Issues

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅11.01.2022 01:52:14

For Honor was one of the ~50 titles affected by Denuvo DRM issues on Alder Lake

Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake platform launched in November 2021 touting its cross-optimisations with Windows 11 and strong gaming performance in Windows 10, but there was a snag. It turned out that some 50 games protected by the Denuvo DRM middleware failed to work on the brand new platform, necessitating work-around and in some cases shelving the game entirely.

If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular. Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms.


Certain third-party gaming Digital Rights Management (DRM) software may incorrectly recognize 12th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors efficient-cores (E-cores) as another system. This prevents games implementing that DRM software from running successfully. Games may crash during launch or gameplay, or unexpectedly shut down.

- Intel Alder Lake developer guide

There were some big games listed, particularly under the list of titles failing in Windows 10 environments. They included Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order and many Football Manager titles; no genre was safe. And so it was down to Intel, in partnership with Denuvo and Microsoft, to weed out all the affected games and rectify the issue a handful at a time.

Today Intel have announced that this backlog of issues has now been resolved for all titles on the initial list, for both Windows 10 and 11.

Games Updated for DRM Issue with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors for Windows 11* and Windows® 10

Intel has resolved the DRM issue on 12th Gen intel® Core™ Processors that caused games to crash or not load in Windows 11* and/or Windows® 10 by working with game publishers and Microsoft. At this time, all games originally identified as having this DRM issue have been fixed through game patches or OS updates.

If you experience issues on an older Windows OS, run the latest version of Windows Update to resolve the issue. Along with game patches, the most recent updates for Windows 11 and Windows 10 have resolved a majority of the DRM issues.

The resolution marks the end of an embarrassing few months for Intel, who were justifiable keen to assert the gaming capabilities of the 12th Gen platform. But more importantly, it underscores the risks involved in integrating DRM into software that is so sensitive to architectural changes in core hardware. It should be a salient lesson for the publishers of today's games, particularly as we may be entering a period of significant architectural innovation.


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