In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft, in the face of much adversity, reversed their stance on their controversial and downright awful DRM policy for the Xbox One today. For the most part, gamers are letting out a cry of joy or sigh of relief at this news.
However, scanning comments sections on these articles I came across a curious discovery. People are actually upset that Microsoft is “backpedaling” and “being spineless” in correcting the egregious mistake they have been touting as the future of gaming for the last month or so.
These people complain that because of “some butt-hurt internet dwellers” that “innovation is being stunted to keep the status quo”.
Are you fucking serious? I am absolutely stunned that people could defend this means of consumer control.
Explain to me how losing your right to own what you buy is innovative. Explain to me how having a corporation dictate what you can share and who you can share it with is furthering technological advances. Explain to me how having a console hooked up to the internet even in order for the damn thing to work despite the fact that 19 million Americans are without sturdy broadband connectivity?
I fail to see positives in any of this.
Arguments for the “stunting of innovation” seem to stem from Microsoft cutting the family share feature of the Xbox One. This feature allowed you to share your digital games with up to 10 of your family or friends (provided they were in your friend list for 30 days and you could only lend the title to them for 14 days).
Steam is rumored to possibly be doing something similar, and I agree that this is a cool idea. However, this is just a rumor. Microsoft’s trading system was entirely too restricted with the aforementioned prerequisites.
The one advantage that console gaming has always had against the PCs momentous flexibility and modding/upgrade options was the ability to take a game to a friend and let them play it. No strings, no hassle. You pop it in the system and play.
Microsoft’s aim was to take this ability away from you. Their ultimate goal was to crush their competition in the games sector by eliminating the used market and being a monopolization that was centrally controlled by them, meaning that they could, in turn, charge whatever the hell they wanted to.
A portion of gamers along with a few industry pundits believe that this infrastructure would have helped developers to keep from going under as the developers would then get a chunk of the profit.
Though do the devs really get this money? Or do the large publishers like EA and Ubisoft pocket this change and leave the developer to languish?
In a world where a game can be considered a financial failure when it sells upwards of 3 million copies, I’m inclined to believe the latter.
Today, much like SOPA getting shot down, Mass Effect 3’s ending getting extended, and Sony listening to the fans and skipping the DRM altogether, today was a victory for the consumer. We gamers are a loud and rowdy bunch, and when we bitch, we bitch loud and proud.
In the meantime, Microsoft, we’ll be keeping an eye on you.
(Archived rant, original post from Tumblr on June 20th, 2013)