DRM Issue Affecting 50+ PC Games On Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs, Intel Offers Workaround

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Intel’s new “Alder Lake” 12th Generation Core CPUs are facing issues running certain games in Windows 11 and Windows 10 PCs. Intel has confirmed that over 50 games are facing issues on PCs based on its 12th-generation Core processors due to incompatibility with certain Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. The affected games include Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry Primal, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, among others. 

Why it is happening?

Intel has introduced “big.little” architecture in their Alder Lake CPUs. Meaning CPUs are spitted into high-powered “performance” (P) cores and low-powered “efficiency” (E) cores. But the Denuvo’s DRM software thinks that P-cores and E-cores on the chip belong to two separate PCs. And that’s why the DRM prevents the game from running.

How many games are affected?

Intel has released a list of incompatible games that includes 22 that don’t work under Windows 10 or Windows 11 and 29 more that don’t currently work under Windows 10 but will work if users upgrade their OS. 

Games that don’t work in Windows 10 or Windows 11 are 

  • Anthem
  • Bravely Default 2
  • Fishing Sim World
  • Football Manager 2019
  • Football Manager Touch 2019
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Football Manager Touch 2020
  • Legend of Mana
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2
  • Warhammer I
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Fernbus Simulator
  • For Honor
  • Lost in Random
  • Madden 22
  • Maneater
  • Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit Remastered
  • Sea of Solitude
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Tourist Bus Simulator

List of games that don’t currently work under Windows 10 but will work if users upgrade their OS are

  • Ace Combat 7
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey
  • Assassins Creed Origins
  • Code Vein
  • eFootball 2021
  • F1 2019
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • FIFA 19
  • FIFA 20
  • Football Manager 2021
  • Football Manager Touch 2021
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising
  • Just Cause 4
  • Life is Strange 2
  • Madden 21
  • Monopoly Plus
  • Need For Speed Heat
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Shinobi Striker
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Starlink
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Total War Saga – Three Kingdoms
  • Train Sim World
  • Train Sim World 2
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood

How to fix the issue?

For those running Windows 11, Intel says a mid-November OS update should fix the issue for 11 of those games. Intel says it is working with the game developers to issue patches that resolve the issue for the remainder.

In the meantime, you can get around the problem by putting the Alder Lake processor’s efficiency cores on standby.  Here’s how to do it-

  1. Power-up system and enter system BIOS setup.
  2. Enable switch Legacy Game Compatibility Mode to ON (one-time only) in BIOS.
  3. Save BIOS setup changes and exit.
  4. Boot to OS.
  5. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key ON.
  6. Launch affected game title.
  7. Toggle Keyboard Scroll Lock key OFF after ending game title.
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