As you all know by now Microsoft has finally folded in the face of unbearable criticism since the full scope of their DRM (Digital Rights Management) plans for Xbox One were made known.

Today in a brief statement the software giant retracted all of their plans that have caused the internet to explode in rage against the Xbox One and in turn helped PS4 pre-order numbers devastate those of Xbox One. The statement very carefully lays out the way things will work. In a nutshell all that crazy stuff is gone and things are back to normal. Is that going to be enough to get back all of the gamers they upset? Only time will tell.

What I’m more interested in as a student of language is the statement itself. A few things need to be established first. One, we know that gamers haven’t been respectful when lambasting Microsoft for their DRM plans. In fact their Facebook page has been pretty well full up with ASCII art depicting a lot of great big middle fingers up in the face of the one-time media darling. So when they release a statement thanking those people for their input it’s hard to take it seriously.

Let me tell you it doesn’t take the years I’ve spent learning textual interpretation and literary criticism to catch the true meaning behind such statements as:

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.”

Sorry Microsoft, that didn’t even almost sound sincere. You’ll also notice the complete lack of an admission of poor decision making while standing by their original position on constant connectivity. Essentially this statement says they are finally fearing for their bottom line and will give people what they want, but will never under any circumstances admit that this whole DRM scheme was a mistake.

Furthermore folks haven’t been calling for anything resembling “the best of both worlds,” they’ve only been calling for these things to be rolled back. Rolling them back does not supply the best of both worlds, it gives gamers back the control they didn’t want to give up in the first place.

The final line attempts to make it seem as though this was all part of the normal process of listening to feedback and making adjustments when that just isn’t the case. No company has ever attempted this kind of overreach before, let alone made two full announcements of it before retracting it.

Trust me, they don’t appreciate your passion and fully wish that you had all just accepted their “assumptions” of digital licensing. Microsoft is not thankful that people candidly gave them the middle finger for days on end all over the world. The sad thing is this could all be too much for gamers to just get over (we can be a touchy bunch) and it all could have been avoided with the slightest admission of fault.

 

David D. Nelson
David D. Nelson is a polymath with a BA in English working as an independent writing and editing professional. He enjoys gaming, literature, and a good hat.

Xbox One Policies Changed, No Internet Connection Required, DRM Restrictions Removed

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8 Comments

  1. Microsoft also isn’t a company to six-can something they’ve spent development & marketing dollars on. They’ll shelf it until able to change enough hearts and minds.
    Remember their differentiator is the “Cloud Resources” provided to developers that is not available in their system. How many games actually rely on this connection dependant processing?

    1. Cloud Gaming in theory is good. In reality it isn’t really possible right now in the scale they are telling people it will be like. The average rating of internet speeds as well as structure can’t handle the bandwidth speeds that most of the cloud computing as well as the intense use for MP gaming would be.

  2. I still do not understand why gamers are so upset about having to log into their account at a friend’s house to play the game (especially when you can play the game WHILE it downloads). Nothing Microsoft did aside from the online-check every 24hrs (which I think could have been changed to a week and ultimately solve the issue) is any different than Steam is now. And yet, we PC gamers LOVE Steam and we wonder how we could have lived without it. The retail giant is a dying beast right now, and MS was poised to make the jump to glorious digital, but instead the folded to the idiotic majority of the internet (that is almost never a proper representation of the whole market) because MS’s marketing team was too scared to face criticism. They need to grow some balls. I think Xbone’s move to digital was the only thing that made the system a competitor to the PS4 (aside from whatever exclusives come to it), and now that it is gone, I have no interest in an Xbone anymore (though to be fair, I won’t be buying a PS4 either). Sony is holding back the industry as a whole because they are keeping retail viable for at least this generation (which means less profit to developers and publishers who actually deserve it), and that means that games will stay expensive and will not move forward. Until people embrace digital, there is likely to be little change in the gaming market. Fuck Sony, fuck Microsoft, and to all you console fanboys: come at me bro!

    1. This current Gen Sony was trying to be ahead of the game with Bluray and Day 1 digital. But that was looked at as being to much. Now that Sony is doing exactly what gamers want people are saying they are holding back the industry. It doesn’t make sense. Also while the gaming on Steam is still DRM, you don’t have to use steam as the end all of that kind of gaming. Most of them you can easily get or play on just your PC as well as other things like GMG and Amazon Digital. So Steam is not the same as the Xbox One before all the DRM was removed. And keeping retail viable is not a bad thing in many places. And Xbox One will still have On demand digital games on release like they are doing now. Same with Sony with Day 1 Digital. But what they lack is sales like Steam does. Because they have full control of it they see no need to worry because that is the only way someone can get digital games on their system.

      And while some people liked some features, that are still there like Digital games, a lot of people didn’t like the major things like DRM controlling features and check ins. With the backlash and pre orders it shows what people wanted. And like any company they want your money, they just didn’t show off or show up their Xbox One enough to sway people over. Sony on the other hand is doing exactly what a vast majority of people wanted, which is exactly what a company who wants your custom should do.

    2. First, Steam does not require you to check in every 24 hours or once a week JUST TO PLAY GAMES. I have computer no longer online and I can at anytime fire up Steam and play what I have loaded. And you know what, before Steam we had disks and that worked fine then too (for the most part). And do you thing MS would price the digital versions like Steam does (think Summer and Indie bundle sales); I, along w/plenty of others think not and is another reason most people are not enamored with digital sales ~ they’re the same freakin’ price as boxed retail. Sony actually does provide a more Steam like approach; PS+ actually gives you more value than just allowing online gaming (required as of PS4, not for PS3) with their instant, discounted, and free game offerings compared to MS’s slim pickings for their online fees.

      As for MS needing to grow some balls, they had huge balls (to match their inflated ego) in trying to make everyone believe they’re bringing the future to gamers now, which is really just them shaping the industry to THEIR liking (more control, more profits; yeah so much more for the developer – BS). Just their standard modus operandi.

      So forcing their DRM, always connected, sharing scheme was what made them a competitor to the PS4??? Wow; just WOW. Oh right, that added so much value, we’ll just forget about 8MB DDR5, custom CPU/GPU, 50% more powerful competing system for that crap, right?

      So Sony is all powerful in ‘holding back the industry’ and ‘keeping retail viable for at least this generation, meaning less profits to developers, more expensive games’; please pull your head out of your ass (and learn some economics while your at it). The used game sales killing the industry doesn’t hold up. So the gaming industry is so unique that second + hand sales, and only second + hand sales are killing it?

      So you just fall in the camp that drinks the Kool-Aid and asks for more – good for you. But as you’ve noticed, they changed the Kool-Aid formula because so many people wouldn’t drink it as is. MS couldn’t count on enough sheep to be like you and be carried into THEIR future (and it’s called TV and Windows 8; I mean 8.1).

      And I’m no console fanboy….

      1. First off your details are wrong. It is 8GB not MB and it is GDDR5 and not DDR5. DDR4 doesn’t even exist. DDR and GDDR are two different types of memory with different positives and negatives. I agree with the original poster as I was looking forward to the new system prior to changing their policies. It doesn’t make us sheep for liking what they were selling. I’m not sure what is going on with all of the paranoia that most people were feeling about the Xbox One policies but apparently the fear mongering machine was out in full force. What you don’t seem to understand is that making games is a business and if publishers don’t recoup their investments at all or by a certain margin they will invest money elsewhere. Not all games cost the same to make but if we keep going down this road then the only games that will be made are going to be the cheap ones for mobile devices and tablets. I’m willing to accept the trade off to keep the industry going as is. You would rather live like it is 1983 and let the industry die.

    3. spot on

  3. That’s how i feel. They showed their true colors. They are a greedy, condescending indie hating company that honestly thinks their consumers are mindless robots. I’m glad DRM got reversed but in reality they’re just a stuck up company.

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