"Square Enix’s port of Final Fantasy XV has received strong reviews and overall acclaim from multiple publications. Eurogamer declared the PC version “unlocks the game’s full visual potential,” and other sites have given the game similar accolades. They’ve also taken notice of how much hardware firepower you need to really push the game at its highest visual settings. A new investigation suggests some of those requirements may be artificially higher than they should be, thanks to the game’s DRM implementation."
"DSO Gaming put both versions of the game through equivalent tests and the results aren’t even particularly close. Not only does the pirated version launch much more quickly, saved games also load faster at 58 seconds for the pirated version versus 100 seconds for the legal copy."
"While 720p tests favored the Steam version of the game, at 1080p the situation changed. In all cases, the pirated version of the game was faster, by 5 percent to a whopping 33 percent, depending on the scene. DSO Gaming also reported the frame rate on the pirated version has a tendency to drop after 10-15 minutes, while the frame rate doesn’t drop on the pirated version. The site logged a 60fps frame rate after 10 minutes on the Steam version and a 75fps frame rate on the pirated copy after the same amount of time. None of these issues have been fixed in the latest game patch. Finally, they found the Steam version stutters more, thanks to constant hard drive accesses that hit the game’s overall smoothness and presentation.
The implications of these findings are straightforward: The piracy protections baked into the game are hitting overall performance, causing a significant set of issues. Companies regularly deny it happens, but tests like this punch holes in such claims. The impact of Denuvo (which FFXV uses) and other DRM schemes appears to vary depending on the game. Other potential factors include which version of Denuvo is used, how it’s implemented, and the presence of other DRM methods. In Doom, removing Denuvo had a 4-6 percent impact on performance at 1080p. The FFXV impact, in contrast, is significantly larger."