The controversial Denuvo DRM (digital rights management) has been removed from the Steam release of Hitman 2 according to an update for the Steam database listing for the game. The game launched on November 13, 2018, meaning DRM was only in the game for a few months before being taken out, something notably unusual for most PC titles that launch with DRM. Usually, developers whose titles that launch with DRM, specifically Denuvo, have to wait until after a year to remove it to try to maximize on profits, by attempting to prevent piracy during that period. Games like Dishonored 2, Megaman 11, Resident Evil 7, and many others are prime examples of games that had Denuvo for over a year before it was removed.
Denuvo DRM has been a topic of heated discussion among gamers for a while now, with many, many, many opponents of Denuvo. The idea behind Denuvo is to fend off pirates by making games impossible to crack; this theoretically makes it so that those who want to play the game have to buy it, boosting sales. What has ended up happening is that there has been no significant correlation between Denuvo and more sales, just a correlation between Denuvo and consumer headaches. Some Denuvo games end up being unplayable offline, while others end up being unplayable for the rest of time. The DRM has been found to cause slower performance in games as well. There are even more reasons than the ones listed for consumers having issues with Denuvo, but it seems like developers like IO Interactive are playing it safe this time and just opting to remove Denuvo early from Hitman 2.
It seems like removing DRM isn’t all that IO Interactive has been up to recently however, with the company recently opening a second studio in Malmö. The growth of the company should mean big things to come from them, including potential new franchises and more. You can read all about the new studio here.