Over the weekend, Xbox was in the midst of huge controversy as server outages sparked, once again, debate over how their DRM works.
With today’s DRM technology in place, checking and verifying that you’ve actually purchased the game you want to play or subscribed to a service each time you access it isn’t just about not being able to play online – Xbox games don’t don’t even work for offline single-player experiences during these outages.
For three days, users were “unable to purchase and launch games or start Cloud Gaming sessions” on Microsoft’s consoles, just hours after the release. A Fortnite streaming deal has been announced.
This has led the community to spark a debate about how DRM currently works on Xbox consoles, as summarized at ResetEra. Washington Post reporter Genetic stock noted that “it’s crazy how I can’t play games I’ve bought and own because they can’t pull themselves together. Imagine not being able to read a book because the publishing house in England is on fire.
Creator Paris-Lilly also noted that “Xbox outages made it clear that something needed to change with their DRM policy, games downloaded to my console should have a window to be offline and playable without registering”.
At this time, Microsoft hasn’t commented on the outages, or what it plans to do with them in the future, at least to allow single-player games to work despite the online issues.
Six hours ago, the Xbox Support Twitter account shared outages were apparently over in Europe as well, and this was their final comment. The emergency now seems over, but the debate over DRM and offline gaming isn’t, and it’s not even an Xbox exclusive – a few weeks ago something similar happened to Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation.
Written by Paolo Sirio on behalf of GL HF.