'People Really Didn't Think That Through'
22 Cans founder and ex-Lionhead luminary Peter Molyneux reckons that many gamers were too quick to see the negatives in Xbox One's (now defunct) used game restrictions and online check-in requirement.
“It’s quite an unfair thought that Microsoft are trying to control our gaming, they’re trying to force us to be online all the time," Molyneux told Techradar. "[People] didn’t really think that through.”
Having worked as Creative Director of Microsoft Studios, he suggested that Microsoft were playing a long game, but miscommunication caused gamers to "leap on" the Xbox One's used game DRM and online check-ins prematurely. “I know Microsoft,” he argued. “I know they were only doing things because they thought they were long-reaching and long-thinking. But the world we live in now is that we have to realise, especially if you’re a big corporation, if you make one step wrong, the world will leap on you, and unfairly, very unfairly, they will judge you.”
“Like everything else in our world, when something turns slightly bad it goes very bad and you have to make big correctional steps to get yourself back on track.”
“Microsoft did the reversal and we should have all turned round and said ‘fantastic, you’ve really listened to what we’re said’. But you have to over-correct to get back on line.”
However, Molyneux was also quick to acknowledge that simply offering an online service isn't enough, and that we have to be assured and informed of real benefits to our gaming experience - something Microsoft was too slow to do before the wave of backlash washed over the gunwales.
"You've got to give consumers the real benefit of why being online is a great thing for them. Why it's great for gaming, why it's great for their pockets and why it's great for the experiences they're having.
"If you have an online experience where millions of people interact together, something unique happens," he concluded. "And we don't use that enough in gaming."
Now that Microsoft have removed both always-online DRM and online check-ins from the table, the point is moot. Personally, I feel that Microsoft was far too sluggish in communicating the (or any) potential benefits of the seemingly draconian new order and deserved the cynical response in return, but with Gamescom around the corner and many pleasing new announcements over the last month, the controversial entertainment system could well be about to wipe the slate completely clean. We'll bring you the latest as we hear it.