The Messaging Around Xbox One's DRM Was Confused, Says Phil Spencer

By William Usher 2014-03-16 16:00:00 discussion comments
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Oh, you guys just didn't understand. You know that whole thing of having to rely on the Azure licensing service that Microsoft setup to dictate used game fees for the games you bought? You didn't understand that. You got that wrong. The 24-hour check-in that would make sure you were only playing the games Microsoft allowed you to play? Oh, you didn't have that right. You were thinking about it wrong. The inability to loan or rent games? Ah, hogwash... that was all a scrambling in your brain, even though it was plainly made clear in Microsoft's FAQ for the Xbox One. Remember, it was the gaming media's fault for reporting the facts about the Xbox One's DRM and it was your fault for being "confused" about the message Microsoft put out.

Well, that's according to Microsoft.

Total Xbox reprinted quotes from Microsoft executive Phil Spencer from an interview captured on film by YouTube user gerrenlaquint.

Spencer openly stated that...
"I look at last summer and that wasn't a highpoint for me, coming out of the announcement of Xbox One and E3, where I thought our messaging around what we believed in was confused,"

Oh right, because reprinting quotes from Phil Harrison and Don Mattrick led to consumers being confused... like when Mattrick said the following...



I don't know, is that confusing to anyone else? Do we not understand the words that are coming out of his mouth? I heard them perfectly fine. Here let me reprint the quotes from the interview for the hearing impaired...
"Fortunately we have a product for people aren't able to get some form of connectivity: it's called Xbox 360."

"If you have zero access, [the 360] is an offline device. I mean, when I read the blogs and thought about who really is the most impacted, there was a person who said ‘hey, I’m on a nuclear sub’ – and I don’t even know what it means to be on a nuclear sub [grins] – but I imagine it’s not easy to get an internet connection. I can empathize, if I was on a sub, I’d be disappointed."

Let me repeat that: “...if I was on a sub, I'd be disappointed”. So is there something I'm missing here? Because the policies and the messaging was as clear as rabbits funking in mid-day. Oh right, and Microsoft was the one who canceled their executive interviews at E3 so any sort of other messaging consumers could have gathered directly from Microsoft was canceled... by Microsoft!



Spencer went on to basically say that Microsoft is on a new path; they want to be honest to consumers.

According to the Xbox front-man...
"One of the reasons I wanted to be a little more active socially was because I knew the core of why we were in this industry was not an evil reason," ... "It was to really delight consumers and build a great product that millions and millions of people would love.”

Being profit driven isn't being evil. However, when those measures include locking down your customers to anti-consumer policies, trying to bypass and overthrow the First Sale Doctrine and attempting to create a digital monopoly in the digital entertainment marketplace the way they have with the PC office enterprise marketplace, it's easy to see how anyone could be perturbed at the direction of the company with the Xbox brand.



Spencer further talks about the new direction the company is taking with messaging, saying...
"I learned a ton last summer as leader of our groups about being true to your core vision about what a product is, not being confusing, and frankly, when you're going to say something to a consumer that might put them off, it's better to just be direct and honest, rather than trying to sugar-coat something that might be controversial.”

“I'd rather deal with the controversy of what we're doing, and have an above-table conversation about that topic, rather than trying to sugar-coat it with some other news. And again, my interactions over the last six months, and I really think the interactions of [Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi] and [Xbox corporate vice president Marc Whitten] and other members of the leadership team - we're meaning to build on what we learned last summer, and just build on who we are as people."

Well, the main thing is: no more restrictive DRM schemes. Aim to be like Valve. Offer better service features like Steam. Be pro-gamer like Nintendo. Aim to be like Valve. Don't keep trying to blame your customers for screw-ups. And most importantly... be more like Valve.


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