Gotham Knights got its first significant post-launch patch on PC yesterday. The update was aimed at fixing online multiplayer errors and squashing some bugs. Unfortunately, it also temporarily squashed the Batman game’s Denuvo DRM protections, seemingly leaving it vulnerable to pirates. That’s one way to take them by surprise.
The PC patch for the struggling co-op adventure was pushed out 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 began circulating on sites like the CrackWatch subreddit, and even led some to believe that Warner Bros. had removed the DRM on purpose. It had not.
SteamDB records show that a new build that had the Denuvo anti-tamper protection back in place was released about 14 hours later, but obviously the damage was done. It’s unlikely people playing the newly piratable version of Gotham Knights can 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’ll probably have free run of the single-player campaign now, though.
Kotaku reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.
Denuvo protection is controversial among some PC users in part because it limits how they can store and play a game. It’s also largely 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’s eventually “cracked” by hackers. Rarely does it get dropped by accident and then restored.
Of course, the bigger issue for Gotham Knights is that it’s simply 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. Montréal might have in store down the line, it is promising a much bigger performance update in the near future.
That patch will be aimed at consoles as well, and fix some of the framerate drops on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. While Gotham Knights is controversially locked at 30fps on the consoles, it often dips below that during certain scenes and when patrolling Gotham while large mobs of enemies are present. As Digital Foundry has reported, there are plenty of performance issues on PC as well, however. Hopefully, they’ll get addressed as well.