Microsoft Live Exec Apologizes for Twitter Insults, Makes No Promises on State of DRM
April 8, 2013 12:13 PM
comment(s) - last by
Microsoft says it's sorry employee told users to "deal with" always on Xbox, but won't promise change
Microsoft Corp.'s (
) next generation console hasn't even been officially announced yet, but things already took a very ugly turn, with an engineer blasting critical fans. Now one of the top Xbox executives has backpedaled, apologizing for those remarks, although he would not say whether Microsoft was renouncing the anti-consumer digital rights management (DRM) that started the spat.
I. Next Generation Xbox Suffers PR Trainwreck
While it's still too early to say who will win the eight generation of console wars, Microsoft certainly appears the biggest loser in terms of publicity.
Things started off uneventfully in January with the leak of hardware specs, which reportedly is similar to the hardware driving Sony Corp.'s (
. But Microsoft's PR troubles began soon after when top gaming blogs in February cited complaints from anonymous developers that's Microsoft's early SDKs/dev. kits were clunkier and harder to develop for than Sony's PS4 dev. kits.
Microsoft also dealt with a tell-all exposé by former Windows Sales VP and 20-year veteran, Joachim Kempin. Mr. Kempin claimed to
that the Xbox has
made almost no money
for his former employer. His comments were followed up by critical remarks from another former employee -- this time from the man who named the Xbox, Nat Brown. In a blog entitled "
Stupid, Stupid Xbox
" the former Xbox team member lambasted the company's console as "creaky, slow, and full-of-s***."
The Xbox 720 has been a PR mess for Microsoft. [Image Source: Explosion]
But the company's biggest headache has been controversy over its rumored DRM scheme for the Xbox 720. In February, various gaming blogs reported that the Xbox 720 would b
an all used games
via always-on DRM -- similar to the
much loathed DRM scheme
Electronic Arts Inc. (
). A Sony executive added fuel to the fire, saying his company had
no plans for used game bans with the PS4.
While the company has refused to confirm or deny the existence of the next-generation console, much less the always-on DRM rumor, a firestorm of criticism has been mounting over the rumor.
II. Microsoft Studios Director to Customers: Deal With It
What about users with slow rural internet connections? Or what if you temporarily had an internet service outage?
Customers have taken to Twitter and other social media outlets to voice their frustration and encourage Microsoft to rethink the rumored decision. That's where things became even uglier when late last week Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orthy took to Twitter
blasting Xbox fans
that were criticizing the always on DRM.
Channeling his inner Charlie Sheen he told the fans to "deal with it" via a Twitter hashtag and said he didn't understand why they were upset. He then implied that Microsoft doesn't care about rural users, suggesting that he "[wouldn't] want to live there":
Those remarks led to more hatred and backlash in the social media sphere.
, "This guy should be fired. I hope he's fired. He's an idiot."
III. Major Nelson: We're Sorry we Derailed And Said Wrong Things
Now Microsoft has gone on the defensive. Microsoft's Xbox Live Director, Larry Hryb (who goes by "Major Nelson" online) posted an awkward apology to his Major Nelson website
We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.
That response did little placate the growing crowd of angry cusomters and retailers, who have issued strongly worded statements about the potential ban on used games.
Major Nelson would not deny that the next-gen Xbox will have always-on DRM and ban used games. [Image Source: Xbox 720 Guide]
On Major Nelson's blog, Xbox Live user "Peter Bauer" writes, "XBOX720 online the whole time= no buy for me, never" and "GoingPostal13" chides Major Nelson, "What you should have done is said: we are not implementing an always online console."
IV. Retails Also Jump Onboard the Microsoft Hate Train
The comments from retailers weren't much friendlier.
An interview roundup by UK gaming blog
such several criticisms. Dixons Retail Plc (
) gaming category manager Christopher Rogers complained, "I do not think the UK broadband infrastructure is robust/fast enough for this to be a prerequisite. Surely last month’s teething
troubles with SimCity
are a warning for this?"
Games Centre managing director Robert Lindsay complains:
If Microsoft incorporates the tech to lock out pre-owned games and Sony doesn’t then there is going to be only one winner in the next generation of consoles – and it won’t be Microsoft.
The publishers are completely out of touch with their consumers if they don’t understand how important pre-owned is in helping them fund new releases. It’s not rocket science to see that a £39.99 new release with no sell-on value will put a massive hole in consumers’ spending budgets.
And Games Dojo Manager Stephen Doyle warned that a ban on used games would "kill the Xbox."
Retailers say a ban on used games would "kill the Xbox". [Image Source: Flickr]
So while Microsoft works to be less offensive on the PR front, it's done precious little to quell the underlying source of criticism. Will Microsoft indeed lock out offline users and ban used games? It's too early to say, but if it's
planning that, it might be wise to issue an official clarification before the Xbox unit suffers more damage to its image.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/8/2013 10:13:23 PM
Well, if that move makes console games cheaper, I'll still consider. I mean, Steam games cannot be sold/purchased 2nd hand, but they are often cheaper than retail box with physical media, and Steam also gives specials on many titles quite often.
But if games keep current pricing with enforced Steam-like limitations, then...
4/11/2013 2:55:28 AM
Check out the prices of the download games on xbox. They charge full price for them. Lots of times you can find that same game at reatail or online in physical form for much much cheaper brand new.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
Microsoft Creative Director Fights with Twitter Users Over "Always-On" Consoles
April 5, 2013, 11:58 AM
Quick Note: EA Will Add More Servers for "Overworked" SimCity
March 7, 2013, 1:24 PM
Sony: We Won't Block Used Games on the PS4, Even if Microsoft Does
February 21, 2013, 11:18 AM
Sony Announces PS4, Loves on Developers, Unveils Mobile Vita PS4 Gaming
February 20, 2013, 7:01 PM
Report: Sony PS4 to Start at $429, Launch in November
February 20, 2013, 2:01 PM
Microsoft Gives Away iPhones to Promote Cortana's Little Sister in China
March 30, 2015, 9:59 PM
HTC's One E9+ ("A55") Unveiled, Packs Quad-HD; 1080p One E9 ("A53") Nears
March 30, 2015, 3:20 PM
HTC One M9 Plus ("Hima Ultra") w/ QHD, Duo Camera May Launch April 8
March 30, 2015, 12:36 PM
ESPN Continues to Give Windows Phone Special Attention w/ New App Makeover
March 26, 2015, 1:59 PM
NVIDIA's Latest Windows 10 Drivers: Still Too Unstable For Primetime
March 24, 2015, 4:45 PM
Samsung, Dell, Pegatron to Preinstall Microsoft Office 365 on Android Devices
March 23, 2015, 4:02 PM
Most Popular Articles
WSJ Report Implies That Google Leveraged Lobbying to Kill Antitrust Abuse Probe
March 25, 2015, 5:37 PM
Food Chemists at Italy's Barilla Claim to Have Perfect Instant Noodles w/out Frying
March 26, 2015, 4:25 PM
Apple CEO's Pledge to Give Away His Fortune is Worth More Than Face Value
March 27, 2015, 5:08 PM
Church of Scientology Buys Twitter, Facebook Space to Attack HBO Documentary
March 30, 2015, 4:27 PM
Google Readies Gmail "Pony Express" to Combat Facebook's Messenger Payments
March 25, 2015, 11:43 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information