Capcom recently released an update for Monster Hunter Rise on PC that implemented new DRM protection, causing the game to no longer be playable on the Steam Deck handheld device. This sudden loss of compatibility has angered many Steam Deck owners and Monster Hunter fans.
Backlash from Fans and Steam Deck Owners
The new DRM solution, called Enigma, checks whether the game is being played on “supported hardware configurations”. Since the Steam Deck is still relatively new hardware, it has not yet been whitelisted as a supported configuration.
This means Monster Hunter Rise now fails to launch on Steam Deck, with users getting an error that their PC hardware is not supported. Understandably, there has been significant criticism from owners of the $400-$650 handheld who can no longer play the game portably.
Reactions to the DRM Update
|“Fans are furious after CAPCOM pushed an update for Monster Hunter Rise on PC that implements new DRM, breaking support for the Steam Deck.”
|“Monster Hunter Rise on GNU/Linux adds some awful new DRM breaking it completely on the Steam Deck and likely all GNU/Linux systems.”
|PC Games N
|“Capcom has broken the Steam Deck version of Monster Hunter Rise with its latest DRM implementation.”
Many fans have voiced anger and frustration at Capcom over this sudden loss of Steam Deck support. Some call on the publisher to remove the restrictive DRM, while others say Capcom should have given advance warning before making such a major compatibility-breaking change.
Capcom’s Previous DRM Issues
This is not the first time Capcom has faced backlash for DRM issues affecting paying customers. In the past the company has been criticized for always-online DRM in single-player games which rendered them unplayable if servers or internet connections went down.
Capcom also previously used the controversial Denuvo DRM solution extensively. This was blamed for performance issues in games like Monster Hunter World and Resident Evil Village. Capcom only removed Denuvo from these games over a year after launch.
So while increased piracy protection seems to be the motivation for updating Monster Hunter Rise with Enigma DRM, Capcom has a history of using solutions that hurt legitimate paying gamers through performance hits, required internet connections, or now lack of Steam Deck support.
What Happens Next
Currently Monster Hunter Rise is completely unplayable on Steam Deck hardware due to Enigma DRM. It is unknown if or when Capcom plans to update the game to re-enable Steam Deck compatibility.
We may see the publisher eventually whitelist the Steam Deck’s hardware configuration to allow the game to run. However this could take quite some time depending on Capcom’s certification process.
Another option is the publisher could remove or reduce the strictness of the Enigma DRM checks following the customer complaints. But there has been no official communication from Capcom yet on their plans.
The timing of this just weeks after the Steam Deck opened up for public sales outside of reservations has also caused suspicions that Capcom intentionally wants to avoid enabling support for the new competing handheld device.
But others speculate the compatibility break was an unintended side effect of updating to Enigma without proper Steam Deck testing. We’ll have to wait for an official response from Capcom on whether this DRM change was intentional or accidental.
What Does This Mean for The Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is trying to establish itself as a new handheld gaming PC platform. It promises to let users access their entire Steam game libraries on-the-go.
So Capcom suddenly locking Monster Hunter Rise to desktop PC configurations only undermines the Steam Deck’s major selling points. Playing games portably and seamlessly switching between handheld and desktop was supposed to be the Steam Deck’s main appeals to gamers.
If more game publishers add restrictive DRM that blocks Steam Deck support, it could severely limit the system’s viability and owner satisfaction. There are already popular games like Valorant and Genshin Impact that don’t work on Steam Deck due to anti-cheat systems.
Now Monster Hunter Rise demonstrates that even existing Steam games that support Steam Deck can suddenly have that support dropped if publishers decide to change or update their DRM solutions. Making the system less reliable and desirable for customers wanting flexible access to their game libraries.
Hopefully this DRM issue with Monster Hunter Rise will just be an temporary setback for Steam Deck. But it highlights concerns about game publishers and DRM overriding user control or hardware choice when it comes to PC gaming platforms. The success or failure of this ambitious new handheld may end up partially in the hands of publishers like Capcom.
This breaking news story will be updated as Capcom responds and there are new developments in the Monster Hunter Rise DRM issue on Steam Deck.
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