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Assassin’s Creed Origins is crippling gamers’ CPUs due to anti-piracy DRM

EARLY ADOPTERS of Assassin’s Creed Origins are have been quick to moan that the open world game is using excessive CPU resources, and it’s thought that Ubisoft’s implementation of piracy-thwarting DRM tools is to blame.

Over the weekend, gamers have taken to the Steam forums to whine about the CPU load, with one Assassin’s Creed player reporting a 100 per cent load on all four cores of his processor even when lower graphics settings were used.

“It really doesn’t seem to matter what kind of GPU you are using,” another complained. “The performance issues most people here are complaining about are tied to CPU getting maxed out 100 percent at all times. This results in FPS [frames per second] drops and stutter. As far as I know there is no workaround.”

As well as stutter, others have complained that this CPU overload has caused their Windows PC to crash and, in some cases, display the dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death’ (BSOD) due to their machines overheating after just an hour or two’s play.

While Ubisoft has yet to address the problems, or return INQ‘s request for comment, TorrentFreak reports that the publisher’s extreme anti-piracy measures are to blame. 

The website spoke to ‘Volski’, a well-known game cracker, who after reviewing the code of Assassin Creed Origins discovered that Ubisoft has ‘doubled-up’ on DRM tools for its latest release.

As well as Denuvo, which TorrentFreak notes is being dismantled by cracking groups “in a matter of days”, Ubisoft has also implemented VMProtect, a piece of software that protects code by executing it on a virtual machine with non-standard architecture that makes it extremely difficult crack. 

“Basically, Ubisoft have implemented VMProtect on top of Denuvo, tanking the game’s performance by 30-40 per cent, demanding that people have a more expensive CPU to play the game properly, only because of the DRM. It’s anti-consumer and a disgusting move,” Volski said.

“It seems that Ubisoft decided that Denuvo is not enough to stop pirates in the crucial first days [after release] anymore, so they have implemented an iteration of VMProtect over it.

“This is great if you are looking to save your game from those pirates, but if you are a legit customer, well, it’s not that great for you since this combo could tank your performance by a lot, especially if you are using a low-mid range CPU.”

We’ll update this article if we hear back from Ubisoft. µ

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