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Certain games may require an update to be compatible with Intel Alder Lake processors.

Summary: On Friday, Intel posted a developer guide for their Alder Lake processors that we reported at the time. But since then, a brief snippet asking developers to find out if the DRMs they use are compatible with Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture has caused some commotion.

It is not uncommon for DRM to create problems for new hardware releases. However, Alder Lake is so different from current Intel processors that some developers believe that according to Intel documentation, DRM-equipped games are likely to be incompatible until they are updated.

While it sounds intimidating, it’s not that bad. Intel said it is already partnering with DRM developers to create and distribute the updates needed for Alder Lake, implying that most DRM games will support the platform at launch. In addition, for many games, DRM is removed after they are hacked or run DRM-free, completely bypassing any issues.

From Intel FAQ section: “Are there any potential compatibility issues with Data Relationship Management (DRM) middleware?”

If your existing or future game uses DRM middleware, you can contact the middleware vendor to confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general and the future Intel ADL platform in particular.

Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it can use CPU detection and should be aware of upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM vendors like Denuvo to ensure their solutions support new platforms.

Unfortunately, poorly maintained DRM games may not be compatible with Alder Lake. Small games that are several years old are probably the most risky. Players may need to convince developers to update their games or remove DRM if Intel does not.

Intel made a good start by publishing a guide for their developers, but it is not yet known if they will support developers throughout the update process. If Intel takes responsibility for getting developers to optimize their games for Alder Lake, that might not be a problem.

Image Credit: Luan Gyokai


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