The worldwide legion of Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been enjoying the new retro-inspired Sonic Mania for the past two weeks—that is, if they own a console. Otherwise, the Sonic-obsessed on the PC had to wait until yesterday for Sega to release the game via Steam. Unfortunately for those players, the PC version was launched with previously unannounced digital rights management (DRM) software included.
The software, called Denuvo, has a bad reputation within the videogaming community. Denuvo is meant to prevent piracy, disallowing players from sharing copies of a game to multiple computers. The software is infamous for being hard to “crack,” or remove or circumvent completely. By its nature, Denuvo constantly “checks” during gameplay that the copy is legitimate, and for many games with the software, this means that the game requires the player to be online, even for single-player experiences.
Your internet connection dropped during a play session? Well, you can’t play the game, and you’ll probably lose your progress, as well. This initially appeared to be the case with Sonic Mania, with its PC version apparently having an always-online requirement.
The problem was fixed this morning with a patch, and publisher Sega attributed the always-online requirement to a bug rather than the DRM software.
Sega further elaborated in a longer Facebook post, attempting to reassure players that the DRM complaints were being looked into. So for now, PC players can enjoy Sonic Mania offline. Still, players are angry, and are utilizing Steam reviews as their outlet. Meanwhile, we suspect that the efforts to crack Denuvo for this game will increase significantly.
Sonic Mania was released for Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on Aug. 15. The PC version was released just this week, on Aug. 29. Check out our review for Sonic Mania right here.