Login | Signup

Peter Molyneux: Xbox One Backlash Was "Unfair"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, Peter Molyneux, Xbox One

Peter Molyneux: Xbox One Backlash Was "Unfair"

'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.

Add a comment6 comments
Late  Aug. 12, 2013 at 18:32

Faced with a massive backlash from the public Microsoft had three options. Carry on the way they were going; justify and promote the features people were complaining about; or reverse the controversial features.
Option one was suicide. Sony were looking golden, and Microsoft were looking doomed.
Option two would've meant convincing the public that the new features were in the public's interest.
They went with option three.

I would've loved to see where we were heading with Microsoft's plans, and it's a shame we're now limited in choice to two largely similar consoles, but tbh if Microsoft decided a u-turn was a better option than convincing the public of the great new features then you've got to wonder just why they didn't want to pursue it and convince us.
If it's a hard sell its probably not something we want...

alababaju  Aug. 12, 2013 at 19:54

Faced with a massive backlash from the public Microsoft had three options. Carry on the way they were going; justify and promote the features people were complaining about; or reverse the controversial features.
Option one was suicide. Sony were looking golden, and Microsoft were looking doomed.
Option two would've meant convincing the public that the new features were in the public's interest.
They went with option three.

I would've loved to see where we were heading with Microsoft's plans, and it's a shame we're now limited in choice to two largely similar consoles, but tbh if Microsoft decided a u-turn was a better option than convincing the public of the great new features then you've got to wonder just why they didn't want to pursue it and convince us.
If it's a hard sell its probably not something we want...


There wasn't really much convincing to be done.

They already had the other features listed out during the weeks of the backlash. People can read, they(probably like me) just didn't care for them, they also didn't feel it was a big enough plus for the two rather large minuses. Plus for some people the online check in simply wouldn't have worked.

They were aiming to satisfy a rather small set of customers and alienate a large other. If they truly believed in their vision, they could have pursued it. I, and millions of others, just wouldn't have followed them.

Forgive me if I'm not well versed with internet journalism, but what is with the [] surrounding 'people' in the statement? Did the journalist just assume he meant people? He could have meant Microsoft.

nickkelly  Aug. 12, 2013 at 21:32

@alababaju the [People] was inserted into the quote by Techradar so Peter Molyneux's comment made sense out of context. Mr Molyneux seems to say a lot of things that don't make much sense these days.

The problem was that people DID think it through and they realised what a bad deal they were getting. Of course the publishers and games developers think it was a good idea as it essentially killed the rental and resale markets.

The problem wasn't just that people were being forced to have to connect online all the time even to play single player games, it was a badly thought out and badly planned list of restrictions and permutations that weren't in customers interests. Any benefits weren't articulated well at all by Microsoft, the launch was just one mistake after another.

socialjeebus  Aug. 13, 2013 at 06:43

'People Really Didn't Think That Through'

Problem is Peter, you've largely outstayed your welcome I'm afraid.

Fable 3 wasn't thought through, Fable The Journey - even less so.

As for Curiosity, well that was a bit of a farce too.

You used to make great games (and not be just another corporate patsy).

Please go back to doing that.

At least then your verbal diarrhea would be tolerable.

aphexbr  Aug. 13, 2013 at 08:24

“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"

So, Peter, what would you call a mandatory online check-in before you're able to use your system? You state your criticism, but you're not telling us what you think the reality is. Suspicious...

"You've got to give consumers the real benefit of why being online is a great thing for them."

...and you've also got to give them the real benefit of being offline. Sorry, if I literally cannot game while my system is offline, that's something that's being removed from me. No amount of spin will change that.

Peter, if I wish I can dust off my Atari ST and play Populous, or install Black & White on my PC and start gaming, I can. I can have the urge to start playing Timesplitters 2 on my PS2 or simply wish to play a quality single player experience like Bioshock on my current console, and I can. If I don't wish to be online, nor to play multiplayer, neither you nor Microsoft can force me to do so. Attempting to force me will lose you my business... and that's exactly what happened. Whatever self-absorbed fantasies you have, let it go. Come back next time with an offer to allow me to use my legally purchased content on my legally purchased console without having to call Microsoft for permission, then your online crap can be possible. Until then, it's not happening.

r3tract  Aug. 13, 2013 at 08:57

“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"

So, Peter, what would you call a mandatory online check-in before you're able to use your system? You state your criticism, but you're not telling us what you think the reality is. Suspicious...

"You've got to give consumers the real benefit of why being online is a great thing for them."

...and you've also got to give them the real benefit of being offline. Sorry, if I literally cannot game while my system is offline, that's something that's being removed from me. No amount of spin will change that.

Peter, if I wish I can dust off my Atari ST and play Populous, or install Black & White on my PC and start gaming, I can. I can have the urge to start playing Timesplitters 2 on my PS2 or simply wish to play a quality single player experience like Bioshock on my current console, and I can. If I don't wish to be online, nor to play multiplayer, neither you nor Microsoft can force me to do so. Attempting to force me will lose you my business... and that's exactly what happened. Whatever self-absorbed fantasies you have, let it go. Come back next time with an offer to allow me to use my legally purchased content on my legally purchased console without having to call Microsoft for permission, then your online crap can be possible. Until then, it's not happening.


What's with the can cans? Your sentences make less sense than Peter Molyneux.

Last edited by r3tract, Aug. 13, 2013 at 08:58

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.