Skip to main content

PC version of ‘Sonic Mania’ uses Denuvo, can only be played online

Sonic Mania - Launch Trailer
Sonic Mania is currently the talk of the town simply because it’s the first good Sonic the Hedgehog game to release in nearly six years, but all is not right for the PC version of the game. Players have discovered that it can only be played online due to copy-protection software.

The program in question is Denuvo, as Ars Technica’s Sam Machkovech discovered on Tuesday, August 29. Designed to stop piracy, it doesn’t allow Sonic Mania players to play the game if their internet goes down, even if they have booted up Steam in its offline mode. This doesn’t appear to be the intended function of the software, as the game’s Steam page posted an update stating that “Sonic Mania is intended to be played offline” and the developers were looking into the issue.

These problems aside, Sonic Mania has received a rave reception from longtime fans looking for a more traditional platforming experience. Combining stages from the original games with brand-new creations, it’s the closest thing players have seen to a retro Sonic title since Sonic & Knuckles, and it gives us some cautious optimism for the series’ future. The next game in the series, Sonic Forces, blends elements of 2D and 3D action together in a similar manner to Sonic Generations. It also allows fans to live out their DeviantArt fantasies and create their own custom Sonic characters. Just don’t create Coldsteel the Hedgehog, as your game console will immediately explode in a fit of rage.

Denuvo began as a relatively robust digital rights management tool, but it has been less effective recently. Adventure game Rime released earlier this year on PC in addition to consoles, and it took just five days for someone to figure out a way to remove Denuvo from the game. Players also alleged that it was actually affecting loading times in the game. Resident Evil 7 was cracked in a similar amount of time, though Denuvo says that even just this five-day window makes a difference in sales for publishers, as eager players can’t wait to pirate games.

Sonic Mania is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Can you use PSVR2 on PC?
The back of a man's head wearing the PSVR2.

There are now a decent number of VR headsets on the market, and the newest headset on the block, the PlayStation VR2, is one of the most powerful in terms of technology. This upgrade from the original PSVR makes many improvements over the original design, including trimming down the necessary cables to a single USB-C. Being the only headset on the market made by a console maker, many PC gamers may be wondering if the PSVR2 would be a worthy investment if they could also use it on their PCs.

If you're mainly a PC gamer, or have yet to get your hands on a PlayStation 5, and are interested in the PSVR2, here's whether or not it will work on other hardware.
Does PSVR2 work on PC?

Read more
I built a couch gaming PC that puts the PS5 to shame — and you can too
A PC sitting next to a PS5 on a coffee table.

The PlayStation 5 is back in stock, and if you've been eagerly waiting to jump into the next generation of gaming, now seems like the time to strike. I'm here to sway you away from a console, though, because you can build a PC for around the same price that puts the PS5 to shame.

PC building is getting more expensive, but prices on the best graphics cards are dropping. With some clever shopping and bit of elbow grease, a gaming PC can deliver better performance and higher-quality visuals without costing much more than Sony's console. Here's the build you need.
Meet the PS5 killer

Read more
Sonic Frontiers is getting new playable characters and story content next year
Sonic in his fighting stance in the latest Sonic Frontiers trailer.

Sega revealed the roadmap of all the new content that's coming to Sonic Frontiers in 2023. The company shared a graphic on the official Sonic Twitter account on Wednesday, showing three separate updates that will come with new features, modes, character skins, and other exciting new content throughout the year.

https://twitter.com/sonic_hedgehog/status/1598000246772023296

Read more