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Cracked Doom Eternal Executable is Bethesda’s DRM-Free Mistake

In an odd turn of events, publisher Bethesda reportedly left a cracked DRM-free executable in the Doom Eternal game files.

  • The highly-anticipated first person-shooter Doom Eternal launched today.
  • Players have uncovered a DRM-free executable among the game files.
  • It’s not the first time Bethesda has made the mistake as we saw last year with Rage 2.

Multiple sources report that Bethesda has inadvertently left a DRM-free version of Doom Eternal in the game files.

As was reported earlier this week, Doom Eternal features the contentious Denuvo anti-tamper technology. The anti-piracy tech requires players to activate the game online as a means of testing that it is indeed a genuine copy and not a pirated version.

Doom Eternal Features a DRM-Free Executable

Yet, Bethesda appears to have done all the hard work for the pirates out there. Nestled in the game files is a DRM-free executable of Doom Eternal, which effectively bypasses the anti-piracy measures.

The findings first surfaced on shady forum before finding  their way on to the CrackWatch Subreddit, where pirates convene to exchanges info and links to pirated games.

Reddit user BarryGettman reports that alongside the genuine Denuvo-enabled executable DoomEternalx64vk.exe is another sitting in a folder called ‘original.’ It appears Besthesda may have quite simply forgotten to remove it when the game launched in the early hours of today.

Multiple responses in the thread suggest the executable works on both Steam and Bethesda launcher versions of Doom Eternal. Screenshots show users successfully launching the game.

Source: Reddit

Others report that they are able to start the campaign free of issues, although they recommend caution as Doom Eternal may have ‘checks baked in’ later on to pick up on cracked copies.

Source: Reddit

Alongside, a user of the Resetera forum reported very much the same, providing screenshots of the two files, which you can see below.

Source: Resetera
Source: Resetera

Not The First Time

This isn’t the first time Bethesda has included a DRM-free executable in the files for one of its games. Most recently, the Bethesda Store version of first-person shooter Rage 2 launched without Denuvo enabled.

From what we understand, Bethesda has now patched out the DRM-executable. Yet, it seems a case of too little too late. A cracked version of Doom Eternal is undoubtedly already out there in the wild. We imagine Bethesda will soon cut its losses and remove Denuvo for good as it did for Rage 2.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:40 PM

Thomas Bardwell

UK-based writer covering the video game industry. Email me | Bug me on Twitter