Yes ladies and gentlemen, yet another news of Bethesda being Bethesda, as it turned out that the advertised Denuvo anti-tamper tech wasn't included in the version of Rage 2 on Bethesda Store, which resulted in seriously quick cracking.
As posted on Reddit's CrackWatch subreddit, extensive testing of both Bethesda Store and Steam versions has revealed that the former definitely doesn't feature Denuvo's anti-tamper tech.
It seems highly unlikely that Bethesda would pay for and advertise Denuvo protection on Rage 2 and then only activate it for Steam.
That said, the aforementioned testing revealed a few things that the company will surely want to take into account, starting from loading times.
Rage 2's Steam version apparently took around 5 seconds to load, while the Denuvo-free one took only around a second, which isn't exactly a negligible difference.
This could also be related to the fact that Bethesda Store's Rage 2 executable file weighs in at mere 47.5 MB, whereas the Denuvo strapped version is 425.8 MB.
Now, we cannot be certain about what exactly went down here, since it's Bethesda doubly so. However, if these versions indeed only differ in whether they have Denuvo onboard, one cannot but wonder how large will Denuvo have to get to cope with the threat of piracy.
Much has been said about the unwanted effects Denuvo's anti-tamper tech has had on different games, and the fact that it punishes paying customers in an attempt to solve piracy, but developers still seem to trust the method.
There's also a theoretical possibility that Bethesda actually wanted to make the version on their store Denuvo-free, but again, we don't really see the point of going for an expensive anti-tamper tech only to skip using it.
Ultimately, Rage 2 ended up being rapidly cracked by the Codex cracking group, a task that in the worst case scenario would've taken longer, as the quickest Denuvo cracks usually took around 4-5 days, which is apparently the general goal of the tech.
You can find out more on Reddit here.