Sonic Mania PC's DRM Angers Players, Sega Adds Offline Play After Negative Backlash

Players were unhappy to find Denuvo being installed along with the game.

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Now Playing: GS News Update: Sonic Mania Players Angered By PC Version's Unexpected DRM, Sega Responds

Following a last-minute delay, this week's release of Sonic Mania on PC brought with it some unpleasant news when players discovered it uses the much-maligned Denuvo DRM. Worse yet, the game could not be played offline, although that particular grievance has since been resolved by Sega.

After launching on Steam yesterday, players began reporting that Mania installs Denuvo on users' computers. The anti-tamper DRM has helped companies to prevent their games from being cracked--at least temporarily--in the past. However, it's also viewed by many as malware that impacts game performance. And much to fans' chagrin, its inclusion was not initially listed on Mania's Steam store page (although that has since been rectified).

As a result, the response has been extremely negative. Although Mania maintains a "Mostly Positive" user review average on Steam, all 10 reviews displayed on the main Steam store page--those voted by other users as the most helpful--are negative ones, citing the use of Denuvo. The inability to play Mania offline only served to make matters worse.

In response, Sega posted a message on Steam vowing to address the lack of a DRM notice and the online check. "Like you, we've noticed an error in the Steam store not mentioning the DRM for Sonic Mania," it said. "We're fixing that now. Sonic Mania is intended to be played offline and we're investigating reports on that. We're also investigating other issues like controller support; these are all PC specific things that Christian [Whitehead, Mania's project lead] and the team have been working on these last few weeks. Please bear with us while we collate and investigate problems that are being brought to our attention."

A separate post on Facebook claims that the inability to play offline was due to an unrelated bug, and not a choice with regards to the DRM. Sega Europe's Twitter account has since confirmed this has been fixed and offline play is now possible. However, there's no indication that the company intends to remove Denuvo, which, for many players, is the more pressing concern.

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