Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins on PC, some users have been complaining that the game’s CPU usage has been immense, sometimes pushing 90-100%. That’s not normal, and it’s led to accusations that the game’s new DRM is the culprit.

Voksi, a member of the Revolt team of game crackers, told TorrentFreak earlier this week that he believes the slowdown is due to Ubisoft using two forms of DRM on the game: Denuvo, which has been having some problems of late, with VMProtect layered over the top.

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“Basically, Ubisoft have implemented VMProtect on top of Denuvo, tanking the game’s performance by 30-40%, demanding that people have a more expensive CPU to play the game properly, only because of the DRM. It’s anti-consumer and a disgusting move”, he says.

“It seems that Ubisoft decided that Denuvo is not enough to stop pirates in the crucial first days [after release] anymore, so they have implemented an iteration of VMProtect over it”, Voksi adds. “This is great if you are looking to save your game from those pirates, because this layer of VMProtect will make Denuvo a lot more harder to trace and keygen than without it. But if you are a legit customer, well, it’s not that great for you since this combo could tank your performance by a lot, especially if you are using a low-mid range CPU. That’s why we are seeing 100% CPU usage on 4 core CPUs right now for example.”

Those are strong allegations that Ubisoft denies, issuing a statement that reads:

We’re confirming that the anti-tamper solutions implemented in the Windows PC version of Assassin’s Creed Origins have no perceptible effect on game performance.

In order to recreate a living, systemic and majestic open world of Ancient Egypt, where players can witness all of its stunning details, its beautiful landscapes & incredible cities, in a completely seamless way with no loading screens, Assassin’s Creed Origins uses the full extent of the minimum and recommended PC system requirements here: while ensuring a steady 30 FPS performance.

“No perceptible effect” is of course a very loose term, one that’s open to interpretation. The statement also appears to be simply saying, hey, it’s not the DRM causing any issues, it’s just the game itself.

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For what it’s worth, here’s the performance I’m getting in the game...

...while my CPU usage looks like this:

A 1.1GB patch for the game was released earlier today, though it doesn’t make any specific mention of this issue, nor has it made any difference to my own CPU usage.