Intel recently shared a developer guide (opens in new tab) for its forthcoming 12th Generation Alder Lake processors. Gamer's Gospel (opens in new tab) discovered an interesting tidbit that DRM solutions, such as Denuvo will require updates to support Alder Lake's hybrid design.
Gamers typically upgrade to a new processor to get better performance in games. However, Alder Lake may not be plug-n-play and command special attention from DRM developers. Intel has confirmed in the document that Alder Lake, which is supposed to compete with the best CPUs for gaming, will have compatibility issues with DRM solutions unless the provider issues a special update for the protection in question. Consequently, game developers that implemented the DRM into their games will have to do the same.
"If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular. Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM providers such as Denuvo* to make sure their solutions support new platforms."
Many, if not all, modern triple-A titles carry some type of DRM protection to defend against piracy. Intel specifically mentioned the Denuvo algorithm, but we suspect that other protections, such as VMProtect or SecuROM will likely necessitate an update as well. Certain games, like Assassin's Creed Origins even have multiple layers of protection, probably requiring multiple updates.
It shouldn't be a huge issue for modern games since developers will in all likelihood provide the update for Alder Lake. The problem arises for older titles that are a couple of years old that likely won't get any updates, meaning they'll be unplayable on Alder Lake chips. There are many gems out there that have high replay value so gamers will be annoyed that they can't play them on the shiny, new Alder Lake processor that they just bought.
Some game developers eventually remove DRM protections when significant time has passed since the game's launch, but that's not the case for every title. Sometimes developers deploy DRM-free versions of their games on platforms, including GOG. If neither situation is viable, gamers may be forced to resort to piracy despite legally owning the game.