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[Update #1] Sonic Mania’s PC DRM has angered its fanbase

The Denuvo DRM requires an internet connection for the game to be played

[Update #1: SEGA has issued the following statement on social media: “We’d like to thank the community for their honest feedback with regards to Sonic Mania on PC. We’ve found the problem within the game code that was stopping people playing offline and it’s been corrected by the dev team. The fix is now being tested by SEGA QA to ensure it is working properly and we’ll let you know when it will be implemented via our social channels ASAP.

We’ve looked into the DRM complaints and can confirm this was not the cause of the problem. We apologise for any inconvenience any of the bugs may have caused players of the PC version at launch and would like to reassure them again, that as with this particular bug, we are on the case and working on fixes so everyone can have an uninterrupted and enjoyable experience playing Sonic Mania both online and offline.”]

It’s kind of a weird thing to say, but there’s finally been a Sonic game that SEGA’s released that has had near unanimous praise heaped upon it by fans and critics alike. Sonic Mania has managed to breathe fresh air into the long stagnant series, and review scores have been great for the console versions.

A few days before its release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch, SEGA announced that the PC version would be delayed a couple weeks for more optimization. Sonic Mania finally released on Steam yesterday, and many fan’s excitement quickly turned to anger when they realized SEGA had inserted Denuvo DRM, which requires an internet connection for the game to be played and some worry that it could actually damage their DVD and hard drives.

While Sonic Mania currently has a “Mostly Positive” user rating in Steam, many negative reviews have been flooding with the knowledge of the game’s DRM spreading around. Many are angry that SEGA didn’t let users know before their purchase that the game contained the Denuvo DRM.

“I am beyond disgusted that this was installed without any warning. If not removed I shall seek a refund towards the end of my refund period in a week,” read one Steam review. “More urgently, I am trying to find a way to eradicate the malware from my computer presently.

“This game should be avoided at all costs until a Denuvo-free installation is offered and independent analysis confirms that it is completely removed. Sega should unreservedly apologise for any distress and all damage this astonishing mistake may cause their most enthusiastic paying customers.”

SEGA has responded to this saying they’re updating the game’s listing on the Steam store to let customers know the game contains DRM and it was their intention that the game could be playable offline, so they’re currently investigating that issue.

“We’re also investigating other issues like controller support, these are all PC specific things that Christian and the team have been working on these last few weeks,” the SEGA update read. “Please bear with us while we collate and investigate problems that are being brought to our attention.”

Sonic PR guru Aaron Webber has asked fans to let their voices be heard regarding the DRM by completing a survey.

Up until now, it’s been nothing but blue skies for Sonic Mania, and we hope SEGA quickly rectifies this issue and doesn’t let it negatively effect an otherwise amazing game and moment for the Sonic series.

Chris Powell

Chris is the editor-in-chief at SEGA Nerds and Mega Visions Magazine. Over the years, he's written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others. Oh yeah, he's also been a diehard SEGA Nerd his entire life.

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