UPDATE: And so this sorry story comes to an end. Bethesda has pushed a new hotfix for Rage 2 on PC which removes Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM.

It appears the removal of Denuvo was pretty much the sole purpose of this update, and came about because "We saw a few requests." We bet you did.

Rage 2 currently sits with a 'Mixed' review rating on Steam, two days after launch. A number of reviews cite the Denuvo DRM as a factor in their thumbs down, so this has likely contributed to the Mixed score. 

Rage 2 - PC Hotfix Patch Notes

  • Removes Denuvo DRM (We saw a few requests.) 
  • Enables Crash Reporter for error reporting
  • Fixes occasional crash related to Scaleform
  • Fixes occasional crash on startup 
  • Fixes issue where Bethesda.net users would always default to English
  • Razer Chroma effects enabled by default

Original Story - 15-May-2019 - Rage 2 hits Bethesda launcher without Denuvo, loads faster than Denuvo Steam version

Whoops, it looks as if Bethesda has messed up with the Denuvo support in Rage 2. Well, it’s that or some clever tactic to push users to its own Bethesda.net storefront rather than Steam.

Again, as we saw with Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5’s ‘cracks’, a security flaw with Denuvo hasn’t ended up being the actual problem. Bethesda released Rage 2 on Steam yesterday complete with Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM protection. Bethesda also released Rage 2 on its own store, sans Denuvo.

The Denuvo protection on Rage 2 has basically been made redundant on launch day by Bethesda itself. It took all of a matter of minutes before Rage 2 start popping up en masse on torrent networks.

That’s one heck of an oversight. Bethesda has shot itself in the foot here, earning the negative credibility of Denuvo DRM while simultaneously blowing open its own protection. The Denuvo-protected executable for Rage 2 on Steam is around 425MB, while the Bethesda.net is a much more streamlined .exe, weighing at 47.5MB. That’s about 11% of the size.

So what does this mean for Rage 2’s performance on PC then? Well, not much really. Early reports indicate that frame rates are much the same between the two versions. Denuvo probably isn’t affecting FPS drops in any way. However, there is a difference in loading times between the two versions. Launching Rage 2 on Steam takes about five seconds with an SSD, for example, while the Bethesda.net version takes a single second.

In theory, the two executables should be switchable, so if you own Rage 2 on Steam then it would be a relatively simple process to track down the Bethesda.net Rage 2 executable and swap it out for faster load times.

I can’t really tell what the game is here, but I have a sneaking suspicion this could all be part of Bethesda’s plan. Throwing up inconveniences to encourage users onto its own store sounds a bit daft, but not outside the realms of possibility. Still, if Denuvo’s a problem for you, you’ve now got a solution in terms of Rage 2.