Most modern games these days come with some form of digital rights management (DRM), and Doom Eternal is no exception. Or, at least it wasn’t supposed to be. The version of the game downloaded from the Bethesda Launcher came with a DRM-free executable file.
Forum users at ResetEra posted screenshots of the file, sitting in a folder called “original”. The folder itself was sitting in plain sight in the Doom Eternal install directory. It was a much smaller file too, at 68MB compared too the 370MB Denuvo-protected .exe file. You could reportedly swap the smaller file into the main directory, and play the game without any adverse effects.
Even without Denuvo DRM, you’d still need to login with a Bethesda account the first time you run it. But Ars Technical reports that crackers have discovered a way to skip that as well. This turns Doom Eternal into a purely offline experience. Of course, the DRM-free executable was later removed via a patch.
If you’ve been around the gaming sphere long enough, you’ll know that DRM, especially Denuvo, is not particularly liked among gamers. While reports vary, there have been cases where Denuvo hits legitimate buyers with performance issues. Pirates, on the other hand, not having to deal with the DRM, sometimes have a better experience as a result.
As for Doom Eternal itself, this was most likely an oversight by its publisher, Bethesda. And it’s not the first time it has happened either. Something similar happened with another Bethesda release last year, in the form of Rage 2.