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Who really benefits from Microsoft's change of DRM policy?
by Stuart Scott on 06/21/13 05:14:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Just last week I wrote a post in the wake of Microsoft’s arguably lack lustre performance at this year’s E3 event wondering if the company had broader plans for the future of their new console and controversial policies. Now, with the surprising news of a complete u-turn on these their used game and online connectivity plans following public outcry, it seems we have an answer.

Don Mattrick’s written statement released shortly after the news broke presents a picture of solidarity and an insistence that this change was a result of the company wishing to deliver to its loyal customer base. Whatever Microsoft’s reasoning, this decision is sure to have an impact on all parties concerned with the future of the Xbox One, and not all of it may be positive.


Consumers

As the news of Microsoft’s u-turn broke the internet was awash with self-congratulatory tweets and enthusiastic posts from those who had campaigned against the policies. Such an outpouring of strong opinion on social media had seemingly achieved the impossible and convinced a massive company to bend to the will of its consumers, so it was no surprise that the reverse decision was met with equal expression.

With restrictions on used games removed from the system, consumers felt that they were once again in control of their entertainment in a manner with which they were accustomed. But perhaps they will be missing out? What Microsoft was proposing was a new method for handling trade-ins that would have still allowed players to exchange used games for newer titles, though admittedly with some limiting caveats. However, what this also suggested was the possibility of a digital marketplace for instant purchasing and delivery of new entertainment, effectively mirroring the success of Valve’s Steam platform on home consoles. This could have presented a whole host of new benefits for consumers such as discounted prices, holiday sales bundles and instant gift purchasing and sharing.

Game Stores

With the reduction of disc-based products and the subsequent used game trade-ins, game stores were looking at potentially lean times until Microsoft’s announcement. It’s quite telling that following the news GameStop’s shares rose by 6% as it became clear that the business could continue with its primary income practice of reselling used games with a large mark-up.

Of late, many stores here in the UK have been struggling financially, with the closure of Gamestation and the down-scaling of Game. This news will likely benefit these ailing stores and their employees, but the effects on consumers may be less positive. With these stores able to continue their used-game practices, consumers may find that they are receiving less value for a trade-in than that of what may have been offered on Microsoft’s proposed trade service.


Developers

With the anticipated structure of used games trading on the Xbox One, developers and publishers looked set to receive a more adequate slice of the pie from such transactions with external stores practically removed from the process. Now that the decision has been overruled they may have to revisit existing methods in an attempt to limit used game trade-ins such as the much maligned Online Pass system.

Another factor of this announcement is the effect it could potentially have on teams currently producing content for the next-gen hardware. Turn 10, the Microsoft studio responsible for the Forza series presented their latest title at E3 and outlined a number of features which suggested a necessity for regular online connectivity such as the ‘Drivatar’. This sudden policy reversal could have damaging repercussions on the studio’s efforts if they have been working under the assumption that players would always be connected whilst on Xbox One. Now they may have to consider what this means for their designed systems and how to provide a game for players both on and offline.


Microsoft

With this announcement, Microsoft has seemingly placated a lot of their fans who were worried about the contentious policies they had announced. However, in some cases the damage may have already been done, with some consumers losing faith or trust in the company, wary of such policies being reinstated as suddenly as they were removed.

The company may have a new found respect from some consumers for admitting their mistake and trying to rectify the problem rather than dismissing the concerns of its market. Equally though, they may have lost respect for collapsing so readily under public pressure and not sticking to their convictions in an attempt to innovate their platform with new services.

What this has achieved is a brief respite for Microsoft which was required following the backlash from E3. The timing of the announcement also coincided with the recent firmware issues plaguing Sony’s PS3 which was an unlikely coincidence. There are still some factors about the new hardware that remain to be addressed such as the necessity for the Kinect and the higher product price when compared to the PS4. For now though, Microsoft has pulled itself up off the canvas and is looking to get back into the fight.


So who benefits?

In the short term it could be said that consumers look to benefit from this decision more than the other parties concerned, although looking ahead to the future it is unclear if this will continue to be the case. Microsoft were attempting to introduce new practices and services that may have led to greater benefits to the company, developers and most importantly, the consumers.

Perhaps in the long run we have all lost out as the future innovation of home console entertainment has been stilted due to poor communication and a lack of public acceptance. If so, then we are all partly responsible for this turn of events, and we all must now live with the consequences moving forward, for better or worse.  The true potential of Microsoft’s policies will unfortunately go undiscovered until the gaming public is more open to these or new concepts or a company is willing to attempt to revolutionise the format once again.

This blog was originally posted on my personal website here.


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Comments


Paul Shirley
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Microsoft made almost no effort to explain what those supposed benefits would be, leaving the worlds imagination to run riot. What little they did explain was so vague it was drowned in the speculation.

The reality is almost any lost 'future innovation' being talked about was a flight of fancy from someone outside Microsoft, neither confirmed or denied by Microsoft before, during or after the U-turn.

If anything the users are in a better position now, where Microsoft will have to negotiate change with users rather than imposing it by fiat. That will inevitably create a better deal for users.

Tim Hesse
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100% agree.

Craig Bamford
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There was no greater flight of fancy than the "maybe games will be cheaper, like Steam!" thing. No, it wouldn't be like Steam. Show me a console with competing storefronts, and then we'll talk.

Dave Breadner
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Microsoft and the developers for the new Xbox benefits, because the thousands of potential customers that they would have lost in my county due to the lack of anything besides dialup internet available with those daily checks; are once again potential customers.

(Plus the several other townships/counties like mine)

Ron Dippold
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> This could have presented a whole host of new benefits for consumers such as discounted prices, holiday sales bundles and instant gift purchasing and sharing.

Every single theoretical beneficial mechanism you cited can be done with all digital titles if they really want to and ever intended to. They've just backtracked on what they can do with disk based sales, because they don't know if Billy is an evil criminal who lent his Forza 5 disk to Suzie.


> damaging repercussions on the studio’s efforts if they have been working under the assumption that players would always be connected whilst on Xbox One

You're conflating 'check in every 24 hours' with 'always connected'. Studios could /never/ rely on customers being always connected with the Xbox One. They can certainly count on a large portion of them being always connected and provide them with a better experience.


The big losers here are really the studios and publishers, who would have supposedly gotten a sale of any used game sales, but everyone tries to spin this as a loss to consumers - who for the most part seem to realize that you can't trust a Microsoft bird in the bush.

Ian Welsh
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Getting a cut of used game sales is another strike against the doctrine of first sale, anyway. Glad it won't be done.

Tyler Martin
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"Microsoft were attempting to introduce new practices and services that may have led to greater benefits to the company, developers and most importantly, the consumers."

If a company can't adequately explain what those benefits are, and shuts out a significant portion of their consumer base by trying to force them, then those benefits either don't exist or aren't really beneficial. And let's not kid ourselves, the only benefits that really matter when making a product are the benefits to the end consumer. If your product isn't made for them first and foremost, then any benefits to the developers, or Microsoft don't matter.

But realistically, I'm not seeing why every single thing they did talk about that wasn't just smoke and mirrors couldn't still be done without the 24 hour check-in requirement, for customers who are always connected already.

Glenn Sturgeon
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(1) MS will likely benefit from much better console sales.
(2) publishers will very likely benefit from more potential customers.
(3) some of the customers will benefit from not having to bother keeping thier console online just to play single player games,
(4) people who don't keep a broadband connection 52 weeks a year,
(5)people in the armed services.
(6) people who live in areas were BB conections are to costly, have limited access or is not avalible
(7) the people who trade in used titles in order to buy new releases which is another benefit for people who don't rake in 50K+ a year but enjoy gaming.

Its not like MS said game prices would go down, announced big (or any) cuts to digital titles or mentioned continuously evolving online games. The question is who would benefit from them not changing the policy? The people who pirate your game, specialy on a console where theres normaly some risk of bricking the system would not likely ever pay $50-70 for your game. So how can you see it as "a loss?"
All MS did was push policy that was likely there for the wrong reasons and made them and the Xbone seem like less than they are.

Dave Kay
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Not so much with number 7. I'd much rather buy 2 games for $45 and keep both, than buy two for $60, and sell each to GameStop for $15.

Everyone who thinks the prices will be exactly the same with the used game market out of the picture are insane. The effective price will drop. Maybe not immediately, but it will happen. Microsoft isn't and never will be Valve, so I can't just say it'll be exactly like Steam... but there's a pretty good chance it would be closer to that than the crap we have today.

Glenn Sturgeon
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@ dave "Not so much with number 7. I'd much rather buy 2 games for $45 and keep both, than buy two for $60, and sell each to GameStop for $15."

I'm that way as well, i'd much rather wait for a price drop and get more games. I also haven't traded in a game at any store since the 90s.
But we are not like alot of people as there are lots and lots of people who soon as they finish a game run to a GS or EB and trade it for something else to play. If they couldn't do that then they'd buy alot less games per year.

I don't agree MS would step up and lower prices. (like they should imo) I mean you're talking about a company who wouldnt let capcom give away content for free. A company that charges for icons and picture packs on xbl.. I'm pretty sure they want to get money in every form possible and every cent they can.

Arnaud Clermonté
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(1): true
(2) to (7): nope, all those people could go with the PS4 instead. Now they can choose one of two very similar consoles, that's not much of a benefit.

Abdullah Kadamani
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(sigh) Microsoft made no attempt at explaining the benefits of their console, And Stuart, I would go so far as to call you naive if you think "Microsoft were attempting to introduce new practices and services that may have led to greater benefits to the company, developers and most importantly, the consumers." If you read through the old features list for the Xbox one before the reversal, then you would have seen how every feature besides the family share plan (though even that is up in the air) was a restriction.They were trying to restrict and control every aspect of the gaming experience, if that is your idea of a greater benefit for all involved, then good riddance. Also, nothing is stopping Microsoft from having all of the benefits of a digital market place, nothing at all. One more thing, if you seriously believed that Microsofts used game plan would result in the consumer getting more value from his trade-ins and not just the same if not less due to the extra fees and hassle, then you are either idealistic or just don't care.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

warren blyth
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Really?
- The author is a level designer at Ubisoft, who recently worked on WatchDogs. You can sleuth this by clicking his name.

- The point of the article is to think through why this 180 might not be the Huge Win everyone says it is. And your response is essentially "We didn't lose out on any benefits - so waste time thinking about it?"

I consider myself a respectable person, and I chose to detest your mean spirited comment instead of the article. Fie! :p

Chris Oates
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The 3 benefits we lost out on:
1) the ability to buy a disc-based game and never need the disc after installation, which required the checkin to enforce.
2) The family sharing plan, which required the checkin to enforce.
3) The ability to trade/sell/give digital only copies of games, which required the checkin to enforce.

You can argue that the benefits were not enough for you to accept the trade-offs, but the benefits definitely did exist.

Ultimately, used games were supported on the XboxOne in its original state, it just required a deregistration of the software from your account, thus requiring the checkin to implement and enforce. The fact that you only saw them as "not allowing used game sales" shows both Microsoft's poor ability in getting the message out, and the internet's ability to drown out what attempts they did do with incorrect information and supposition.

Yong Wu
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Now a days there seems to be a gap/disconnect between developers and the consumers and things just seem to turn into us vs them. I think that turn was a good thing for all parties involved as happier consumers = better for all of us, trading consumer satisfaction for a bit more $$$ is only something short term as in the long term you are eroding their confidence on you.

Also just because it is a new idea it doesn't mean that it will be great, if the other half of your industry/client doesn't see it either your idea is terribly flawed or you fudged things up so bad that nobody wants to look at it. Claiming that it was something set for greatness when it's all just theorized is not any different than me guaranteeing that X game will be a hit just because I personally liked the idea behind it.

John Maurer
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The disconnect is a good point, one that should be explored.

Riley Dirksen
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I feel more people were ok with all of Microsoft's policies than the Internet community shows, they just weren't as vocal as the "DRM MAKES ME SO ANGRY" crowd.

You know the reason I dislike console gaming? Physical software. In 2013 it shouldn't exist. Sorry if you don't have broadband. I'm one of the fortunate 80% of Americans that have it. My broadband has gone out twice in the last 5 years. Does this make me selfish? YES. I AM INCREDIBLY SELFISH.

I love convenience more than anything and I have now lost convenience because people want to keep the crappy used game stores running for a few more years while fighting the online age. (Seriously Gamestop is terrible. They give you $7 for a game and then sell it for $45. Stop supporting them.)

You know what games don't need to be sold back? The ones I buy for 75% off on Steam.

Ardney Carter
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Because Microsoft totally can't sell games digitally at all now, amirite?

You haven't lost any convenience whatsoever due to the outcry. But many consumers have gained the ability to actually use the device. That's a net win.

Ujn Hunter
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I don't see what you're upset about. You can still buy all your games digitally while I buy my discs. It also really has nothing to do with Gamestop or used games at all. Just the ability to pop in your disc into any system and play your game without needing to get permission from MS. Now more people can play, how they want to play. You don't ever have to buy a disc if you don't want to, but now people who want to can. Nothing has changed for you. Win win dude.

Will Currier
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I love Steam. I very much hope MS puts in a Steam-esque system for XB1. To be blunt, I'm lazy, and I enjoy being able to browse titles from the comfort of my home. Plus, if I get a fancy at, say, 11pm to buy *insert game name here* I want to be able to, rather than wait another day for both the store to be open and me to be off work to go to said store.

I got to understanding the problems with the 24h checkin from the post about how it'd hurt those deployed abroad, so in a sense I'm pleased with that change. But I think the used game argument is indeed somewhat of a stretch (I too bought a brand-new game for $60, sold it 2 days later (it sucked hard), but only got about $15 for it...they resold it for $55).

My belief is that if MS creates an on-demand service, by the time their next console is ready then there would be far less outcry for implementing policies like these. Steam took a while to "catch on," so this'd take time as well.

Riley Dirksen
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I don't think we will see the full advantages of a digital marketplace while still having to support a physical one. Digital games will continue to have higher costs to subsidize the higher cost of a physical product.

I assume they are predicting AT LEAST a 10 year lifespan for this console. Physical copies of games WILL go away. It has already happened with music. It has almost completely happened with PC games. It is happening with movies and tv shows.

I guess I feel its worth it to leave behind the unfortunate people without broadband while moving towards the future. (As I said before. I am selfish.)

John Maurer
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The whole "we've lost the steam'ish features" argument is BS. You can still download games, exclusively if you wanted, even right now from existing marketplaces on current gen consoles, what are you crying about?

Shea Rutsatz
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I also have a hard time believing that prices would come down much, if at all - regardless of physical stores selling physical products. They wouldn't dare go up, there would be crazy outrage. But if they keep where they're at, most people wouldn't complain, and the others would get over it fast.

Ron Dippold
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How have you lost any convenience? All the rollbacks were for for disk-based games.

If they ever had any intention of doing any of this, there is no reason whatsoever they can't do it with digital sales.

Dave Kay
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Retail stores (like Gamestop) have a lot of leverage on Publishers. They use this Leverage to help guarantee that digital copies are the same price as Retail copies, despite the fact that there is marginal cost to production (bandwith to upload, etc.), and despite the fact that digital copies can't be resold.

So no, it's not win-win. It's a win for people that love the used games market because they STILL don't realize that they're ultimately getting shafted by Gamestop. It's a loss for people that understand games in an all-digital no-resale world would actually be much, much cheaper. Again - Let's look at Steam.

E Zachary Knight
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Why do you have this obsession with Game Stop? Game Stop is not the beginning nor the end of used games sales. Craigslist, Amazon, Best Buy, and a myriad of other lesser known and regional game chains all exist and all were threatened in one way or another by Microsoft's plans.

But aside from that, no one gets shafted by Game Stop's trade-in policy. They get exactly what they agree to. If someone doesn't think Game Stop isn't giving them what they think they should, they have plenty of options to get more.

John Maurer
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My biggest grip with the Microsoft polices entail games experiencing content locks (DLC add-on purchases) or being downgraded to demo mode (whole game digital sales) once the LIVE service for their current gen goes bye-bye. Once the PS3 pops off the PSN my downloaded games are still going to work, and all my content will be there. Microsoft probably could have pushed their previous strategy without much fuss had customers been guareented their products (short of an MMO, something like DC Universe is expected to go boom) will still work once the console manufacture has moved on. Instead, they wanted to shift to selling licenses (not an uncommon move for the software giant) and use that to control various aspects of ownership, functionality and personal use.

Marvin Papin
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Hey, come back to origin of used games : Why do people buy used games ?

1) because they do not have the money to buy them new.
2) because they think the game is not worth the money.

So finally, somebody said it and that's nintendo : "If you don't want people to sell your games, make better games."


Consoles maker are inexorably trying to go to digital market. The audio disc market, tried to not go that way, but now it massively digital. If video games come digital, i don't think video game market will survive.
1) piracy problem
2) loss of local store and the taboo of "video game makes children dependent", will have reason of the market


When i see the quality of the current games. i say ouch !
But with some titles i've seen at E3, i think there's still a hope.
However, it's still light for an upcoming generation.

Riley Dirksen
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I personally think a digital market will HELP the video game industry. Piracy will cease being an issue when the majority of games are one of the following:

1) Cheap
2) Always online
3) F2P

I foresee the above being the future of games. Have you ever played DOTA 2? It makes Valve A LOT of money and its "free" and not even released yet!

Marvin Papin
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1) Cheap, people just want games that worth money. On steam by example, there are many games at 15$ which do not worth a quarter of most 60$ AAA. Journey and unfinished swan are reaaally cool but i don't think they worth 15€ (i don't know how much it worth for you but in france most salaries are under 1300€, so)

2) always online, If people want to buy them, they will find them. But i don't think they'll be "anywhere", when you'll say to your child what you played when you was younger. If MS see they don't sell they can come back on 360 (lol) or cut old XBOX LIVE service. If sony will fall, no more online games will be online.

3) F2P, unstable market, if people can not give money, they don't. if the game loose its balance due to money, people leave... there's still customization, but if you do a AAA, will you sell it as AAA.

DOTA is one of the rare games that work with LOL and TF2. But this is long time development games and publisher do not understand that worth it and players are staying a long time on those games. So if the market is flooded player will go on a very little number of games and millions of dollards will be lost... unstable (not necessarly at a low scale, see beyond)

Gabriel Marte
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Personally, I wish people of my opinion had spoken out more to combat all the people who did not understand the future. In my opinion, this is the future, one that Microsoft was attempting to be a step ahead of Sony. Those that dont understand the used games cannibalism effect, dont realize that they are helping destroy the studios who develop their favorite games. Shouldn't we reward the developers who work tirelessly to create the best experience for the gamer? The epic levels that you remember, the amazing endings and cool gameplays that set the trend for other games to follow? Gamestop accounts for roughly 90% of all used game sales (last I checked), many times, push the used game over a newer version to their customers without compensating the developer as well as rip their own customers off just to make a huge margin of profit. For every used game sold over a newer one, game studios lose out on money that they can invest into the development of the next game. Should the industry move to a majority online distribution system, the games can become cheaper due to the reduced cost of manufacturing and shipping physical media. Those that are complaining that Microsoft has not mentioned anything about reducing the cost of games, dont understand that its not their call.

I didn't agree with everything the original XB1 had in store but to take a step back from whats going to be inevitable is a bad move in my view. Microsoft was simply calculating the future, nothing less.

Marvin Papin
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1) But most people who are buying used games wouldn't have bought them new. If they have not enough games to buy, that's not worth buying a console and then they buy less games new at the end.

2) the used market allow people to buy new games.

So, people who do not have money to buy new games sell their old ones. Will people continue to PLAY so many games new or digital if there's no used market ? I don't think so.

Marvin Papin
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3) if you can't sell a game that actually not worth its price, you don't buy it.

Stuart Scott
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It’s great to see my blog post triggering so much discussion here in the comments, it has been rather overwhelming but I’ll try and respond to some of the recurring points.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I agree that Microsoft have poorly communicated the full capability and potential for their new system which has provided a source of much speculation. This will only be amplified in the coming days now that Microsoft are no longer beholden to delivering on their initial intentions.

What is evident is that Microsoft were attempting change, and innovation cannot occur without it. Now that we won’t see how those changes will have played out we can no longer determine if they were innovative or not. It is in this regard that I believe we all may have lost out, not on the promise of some speculated improvements, but on the denied opportunity to experience the change whatever it may have been.

As for the debate surrounding a less beneficial digital marketplace, I would once again make the comparison with Steam and its predominance of digital distribution that affords it the possibility of massive price reductions amongst other benefits. The majority of the PC gaming market now acquires games through digital distribution which is a more cost effective method of delivery, with the savings available to consumers. The current console market is divided between physical and digital distribution which seems to lead to a necessity for the prices to remain comparable across delivery methods to cover costs and minimise users feeling cheated. Microsoft may have had similar plans to Steam for the future of their platform. However, they appear to have failed in their apparent attempts to force their users to accept a predominately digital distribution service, one which may have led consumers to reap the possible rewards of a united market in the future.

Thanks again for all your comments.

Craig Jensen
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Stuart Scott:

I will say what most people were too polite to above, but they were definitely thinking...

You just sound rather naive or perhaps you are being employed by MS and just a drone. Do you really believe this? MS tried to avoid a PR disaster and so did a 180. That's about it.

Chris Oates
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Your oversimplification of the situation sounds a bit naïve to me. Perhaps you are being employed by (someone not Microsoft) and just a drone. Do you really believe this?

Dane MacMahon
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I remember when Dragon Age on PC switched from a disc check for Origins to a digital DRM model for the sequel. I was annoyed by this since I see DRM as an attack on game preservation. I went to the Bioware forums to politely give my feedback. Once there I noticed the VAST majority of comments were saying more-or-less "thank you for making it so we no longer need the disc!"

I think the squeaky wheel gets the grease but is not always representative of how all the other wheels are functioning. I personally think the market, if properly sold on the benefits, would have been fine with the DRM. I also think most of those who complained about the DRM would have bought the system anyway if they were predisposed to wanting and enjoying Microsoft exclusive games.

In the end I am glad about the decision but realistically, looking at the market, I think they just handled the revelation wrong.

Niko Nousiainen
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I personally think that where Microsoft originally went wrong was binding the physical copies to one user's account. All the great digital account features could and should still be used in digital games purchased by the user. Just make the digital games 20% cheaper.

This way the player still has an option of buying the physical copy but there would be increase of digital sales leading to decrease of physical and thus used games sales. And everybody wins. The right way is to leave player with as much choice as possible, but making the most beneficial choice to the developer the most appealing one.

Kyle McBain
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Not sure how Gamestop benefiting from Microsoft's DRM policy would result in me missing out.

Daniel Backteman
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I really don't see the correlation between non-draconian policies and the loss of certain features. This really feels like a case where the consumer could both have their cake and eat it. Optional checks and such that for people who wanted the features, and less features for those who do not want to/cannot jump aboard with their policies?

I do wonder if going back on their policies just made the Xbox One seem like a generally inferior PS4 as well, instead of niching, but that's another subject.

Arnaud Clermonté
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This whole article doesn't seem to take into account the possibility that developers, stores and consumers would simply have switched to Sony instead of sticking with Microsoft...

Marvin Papin
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More interesting for them to stick to both. Mainly when there are 2 different ways to think.

james sadler
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The was that the Xbox One policy design was just a few years ahead of its time. Most consumers are still in the physical media environment, and not everyone can access/afford an always on connection. In a few years this will probably change substantially but we just aren't there yet. MS had a lot of really good ideas with their original policy, but the consumer just isn't ready for it.

As such there is nothing to stop them from continuing their policy in a couple of years when more and more of the customer base is buying their games digitally. The big issue as to why people have yet to jump on the digital marketplace is that currently there is little to no difference in price for a digital copy of a game and a physical disc. Most logic would follow that in that case the physical media is more of a value since we get a shiny tangible piece of plastic to collect dust in a DVD stack. And if the console service were to one day vanish they would still have a copy of said game to play. The reality of all of this isn't really valid anymore, but we are in a time of transition.

Following this though the biggest issue that MS faced was the terrible way it was introduced. The whole thing reminded me of how Sony was acting before the PS3 came out. Their message came off as "We know what you want because we're telling you what you want." Even when what they might be saying is true, people don't generally like to be told what to want. For some reason though even after people started fighting back MS stuck to their guns and made things worse. E3 just seemed like a prime example of how not to handle PR for MS. In the end the 180 that they did about their policy was the only thing they could really do to save their butts for an outstanding console launch. This is one of those times where it wasn't really trying to appease the consumer, but doing what was necessary to sell as many consoles at launch as possible.

Jason Alexander
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I actually wonder if it would've been possible to bolt a cheap 3G cellular data chip into the system that would only be used specifically for the 24hr check if needed (since the data for that I imagine is pretty small). Amazon did this with Kindles, and basically included it in the price, since eBooks were relatively small pieces of data.

So if your internet goes out, it uses that as a built-in backup. Then again, I have no idea if that would address the issues with folks military bases, or people that play in basements or something (or the people that have a moral issue with 24hr checks, not just a practical one)

Titi Naburu
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The Drivatar thing was a terrible idea. The point of a racing game is to race, not to let your avatar do the pleasent jpb.

Jonathan Collins
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You know, there is really one major reason why I didn't like the XBox One, and I'm surprised I haven't found much of a mention of it here. The 24 hour check that Microsoft requires (aside from the already above mentioned problems), provides an additional issue. What happens when Microsoft wants to discontinue that check? What happens when they eventually take down the servers listening for that verification check? The check will fail. What happens when the check fails? I can no longer play my games. This means that I can lose access to the entirety of the content that I have purchased at Microsoft's whim.

Why would they do that? Well, as a business, it only makes sense to encourage their customers to move on to the next product that they're pushing. Also, supporting that console for the rest of time is impractical, since it isn't free to continue to support, and isn't going to generate any additional revenue. This assumes that it's been let's say a decade or more since the console has come out.

Now my console is a hunk of plastic and metal. And you know what? I want to be able to keep playing my games forever, as long as I want, as often as I want. I still play games on my Atari, NES, PS one, N64, you name it, still to this day. That online check would prevent that from being a certainty. It's a possibility sure, but not a certainty.


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