Xbox One's 24 Hour Check-In DRM Returns During Killer Instinct Tournament

By William Usher 2013-12-17 12:32:41 discussion comments
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[Update #2: Microsoft addresses DRM concerns for FGC tournament organizers]

[Update: Microsoft's response]

Out of the blue moon one of the most surprising things happened: the Xbox One may have done a 180 on its 180 and started acting like its original self. By that, I mean that the console – during a live tournament that was being broadcast on Twitch – seemed to stop in the middle of the game to ensure that those using the console were the proper owners of the content.

The story was originally captured by satirist site FGCNN, where they were watching the stream and claim they noticed that right during the middle of the bout, the game kicked the users out and asked them to verify the content by checking in online. Don't believe them? Of course you don't. It's a darn good thing we have video footage below, courtesy of Twitch user NYCFurby.


FGCNN decided to give the Xbox One the benefit of the doubt regarding the DRM incident and did their due diligence by contacting Microsoft about the issue before running the story but they say they've received no response.

Now it's easy to say that FGCNN isn't a big name site and Microsoft had no reason to respond to a potentially damaging story, but what happens when Kotaku gets a hold of it? Or Eurogamer? Or Game Informer? I doubt making a shrewd remark will go over well with the gaming community.

Worse yet it appears that the DRM check-in, as showcased in the video above, completely kicked the users out of the game. So before saving anything, logging anything or issuing a warning, the check-in just completely exited the user with complete and total disregard to the user activity or the content.

If you think the incident was isolated, maybe not.

On the Test Your Might forum, one user responds to the incident, noting that it wasn't isolated and has occurred a couple of times during their experience with Killer Instinct tournaments...
“We've already had issues with it a few times at tournaments. The DRM system is still in place for games that are digitally downloaded, such as Killer Instinct. Disc-based games don't require it, but downloads still do. We had a particularly annoying issue with my XB1 at the Break a few weeks ago because I hadn't logged in previously that day for the checkin AND the online servers for KI were having issues. So I couldn't access the game offline because I needed to check in and I couldn't check in because of the problem they were having. VERY annoying that these systems are still in place. Microsoft was not up front about this, and it's really disheartening. The system is not necessary when the bulk of their games are going to be on disc.”

Originally, a lot of gamers were peeved about the inclusion of a 24-hour check-in when Microsoft announced the policies back during the Xbox One's reveal. To this very day we've yet to receive an answer from Microsoft as to why they initially felt the need to include such stringent DRM measures, especially considering that even with the old policies the Family Share Plan was never going to be available at launch.

Essentially this seems an inconvenience for inconvenience's sake. Hackers, modders and crackers will bypass the DRM eventually since that's just what they do.

If what's going on in this video is for real, then this could seriously hamper Killer Instinct's presence at FGC tournaments and, if the issue isn't properly resolved, could prevent the game from making a showing at the 2014 EVO tournament. There's no way tournament organizers will allow for a game where it could cut out during the middle of an intense semi-finals match.

Update: Some people are claiming this is the same issue and DRM as the Xbox 360 and PS3, however, this apparent disconnection occurred during actual gameplay instead of before the game started, which is where most DRM prompts take place (i.e., the Xbox 360 and PS3 don't kick you out of the middle of a game you're playing offline). In addition to this, it happened after all parties were seemingly logged in.

As for anyone who thinks that there were shenanigans involved or that the users were switching accounts mid-match, think again. You can watch the whole match, including the incident involving the Xbox One's supposed DRM flag in the eight minute clip below, courtesy of the original streamer and tournament affiliate, Arturo Sanchez.


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