Saturday, September 6, 2014
Microsoft Kills Xbox One DRM, But The Damage Is Done

Microsoft Kills Xbox One DRM, But The Damage Is Done

It was the biggest reversal of policy we’ve seen since the inception of the games industry, a company basically trashing out the door the concept on which its console was built because of consumer backlash. Microsoft surprised the gaming masses by doing what it did last night, but has the damage already been done?

[poll id="3"]

I argue yes it has. Not that Microsoft isn’t in a better position than it was just a few hours ago, but people won’t forget that easily. People will remember the draconian policies Microsoft tried to shove down their throats and giving no little in return. Lest we forget, you would not be able to trade your Xbox One games unless you dealt with a “partnering retailer”. You also couldn’t play the console unless you had internet access and gifting or loaning games to your friends was a thing of the past.

Thing is, Microsoft said it wouldn’t change its policies because they were so intricately tied to the Xbox One’s philosophy, but just like that, with simple coding via a patch on the console’s day one release, the anti-consumer policies will be no more.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why MS would do this. PS4 has been dominating preorder sales charts on every retailer’s website, GameStop was apparently ordering its employees to highlight PS4 over Xbox One, the mainstream media had picked up on all the noise, and the internet wouldn’t stop raging. They were in a bad position, and something had to be done.

But if Microsoft could do a complete 180 on its policies so quickly, the big question is why attempt to screw over the consumers in the first place? Why try to change the gaming landscape into something unfriendly to the very people who built it, the gamers? Did the company believe that, after the success of the Xbox 360, gamers would simply take it and smile?

Well we didn’t smile and even after yesterday’s announcement, we’re still not smiling. I think the mind share is already on Sony’s side. I think a lot of damage has been done to Microsoft reputation, believe it not, even after declaring that they’d abandon completely their DRM attempts.

People who’ve preordered PS4, most of them, will still keep it that way, and Sony will have an edge going into the holiday season.

It was a colossal PR nightmare the likes of which we hadn’t seen in the past and, I suspect, one not many firms wish to imitate. The Xbox One has done a 180 and that’s great, but the damage is done.

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!
  • rpatricky

    And it is still $100 less

  • ernicegilbert

    Yep, big factor there too. The coming days, weeks and months will tell the clear story on the impact of this change.

  • Erik Colquitt

    Doesnt matter What MS does, people are going to Whine and hate because Gamers have become lame ass crybabies who need to put down the controller and Actually See a Breast before they Die.
    Xbox 1 is a day One Purchase for me