Capcom released an update for Monster Hunter Rise on PC that implemented new DRM software from Denuvo called “Enigma Protector”, causing the game to no longer be playable on the Steam Deck handheld gaming device.
Monster Hunter Rise first launched in March 2021 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The PC version was released a year later in January 2022.
The game was verified by Valve to work seamlessly on the Steam Deck. Being Steam Deck verified means the game has been tested by Valve and confirmed to meet the requirements for a smooth experience on the handheld device.
Monster Hunter Rise has sold over 11 million copies across Switch and PC. It’s one of Capcom’s best selling games in the popular Monster Hunter action RPG franchise.
The Problematic Update
On January 23rd, 2024, Capcom released an update for Monster Hunter Rise on Steam that added Enigma Protector software from Denuvo. Denuvo is a company that produces digital rights management (DRM) technology aimed at preventing video game piracy.
This DRM update immediately caused issues running Monster Hunter Rise on the Steam Deck. Attempting to launch the game results in an error.
Valve has since revoked the game’s Steam Deck verified status. Monster Hunter Rise is currently listed as “Unsupported” on the Steam Deck compatibility chart.
The Monster Hunter community on PC expressed frustration over a DRM update breaking Steam Deck functionality for a game that was previously certified to work.
Many posts on gaming forums described this update as “anti-consumer”. Customers who legally purchased Monster Hunter Rise are now unable to play it portably on the Steam Deck because of invasive DRM blocking it.
Criticism focused on the DRM only negatively impacting paying customers, while pirated versions of the game remain playable on PC and Steam Deck.
Capcom’s Official Response
An official statement was posted on the Monster Hunter Twitter account regarding the Steam Deck issues:
We are aware of reports that the latest update for Monster Hunter Rise on PC has led to the game not launching properly on the Steam Deck. We are currently looking into solutions and will provide an update when we have more details. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Capcom said they hope to have a hotfix available soon that will re-enable Steam Deck support.
They have not directly addressed the criticism around adding restrictive DRM that breaks functionality for paying players.
Will This Keep Happening?
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a Capcom DRM update has caused technical problems.
When Monster Hunter World introduced Denuvo Anti-Cheat in a patch, it led to widespread performance issues and crashing across PC systems running the game. Capcom eventually rolled back that update.
Other well-known examples include repeated DRM issues with Resident Evil Village breaking functionality. Village has been updated and broken by DRM repeatedly over the past two years.
|Multiple DRM updates crippled performance
|DRM update blocked the game from launching
|Another patch introduced critical launch errors
This pattern of Capcom using disruptive DRM suggests more problems could occur in the future. Once support is reinstated for Monster Hunter Rise on Steam Deck, they may break it again by expanding Enigma Protector or integrating additional anti-piracy software.
What Comes Next?
At the time of writing, Capcom claims to be developing a hotfix to re-enable Steam Deck compatibility for Monster Hunter Rise in the near future.
However, if these recurring technical issues stemming from heavy-handed DRM continue, it may permanently damage consumer trust in Capcom products. Especially for the portion of the Monster Hunter player base that utilizes the Steam Deck or similar PC gaming devices.
Having broken fundamental Steam Deck functionality that previously worked, through no fault of customers, Capcom faces an uphill battle in regaining community confidence. The best path forward might involve rethinking their reliance on using disruptive DRM that mainly hampers legitimate buyers.
Monster Hunter Rise no longer being supported on Steam Deck also casts doubt around the upcoming Sunbreak expansion releasing this summer. Will Capcom preserve Steam Deck compatibility for the expansion launch, or immediately break it again by doubling down on misguided anti-piracy efforts?
For Monster Hunter fans that play on the go using the Steam Deck, the safest choice right now is avoiding any non-critical game updates until Capcom publicly commits to not implementing invasive DRM that negatively impacts legal gameplay experiences.
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