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.