In the four days between when the update was released and today, users have taken to the Doom Eternal Steam page to express their distaste for this change. In this time there have been 4,555 negative user reviews posted, the bulk of them citing the Denuvo Anti-Cheat update as the main reason for their dissatisfaction.
A couple of factors to note when considering these reviews. Users who post reviews are always going to be the vocal minority, and it’s anyone’s guess just how representative of the entire user base they are. Steam reviews track reviews only from confirmed owners of the game, so these numbers carry some weight, these are people that have been happy to pay the asking price for the game, but who have found themselves disappointed by this update. These user reviews and statistical analysis of the user review data are quite prominently featured on Steam store pages, so there’s plenty of chance that these new negative reviews could effectively serve as a warning for potential customers so investigate the anti-cheat situation before parting with their hard-earned money.
Whether these reviews constitute “review bombing”, a coordinate campaign against a game or developer, or whether they are simply genuine sentiments from disappointed customers, is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, but it looks to me like a lot of these complaints are perfectly reasonable.
Some examples of what kinds of things people are saying in user reviews:
“Latest update forces you to install Denuvo Anti-Cheat, an extremely dodgy always-on Windows Service with full access to your PC. Many anti-virus programs quite rightly detect it as a virus.
You cannot play the game, even in single-player, without installing it.
Since I refuse to allow that on my PC, the update has effectively locked me out of a game I’d just recently bought.
Avoid until they sort out this mess (if ever.)”
One succinct review simply states:
“I wanted Doom, not spyware.”
Some focus on arguing from a legal perspective:
“The game implemented Denuvo Anti Cheat. A software which uses kernel-level drivers and therefore setting the computer system at high risk. This was not present and/or known before/at the time of purchase. It wasn’t part of the End User License agreement either. By not installing this software (Denuvo Anti Cheat), which is my right to do so, the game doesn’t start.
In compliance with european and german law I demanded a full refund, which was rejected by the automated Steam refund process system, of course. Avoid, until it’s cleared and the rootkit being removed.”
These kinds of reviews go on for several pages.