Hopefully now that they have more time they will fix that mess."
The man who led development on the very first Xbox console has chimed in on the Xbox One's past and present fortunes, observing that the console's original online policies might have been workable, had Microsoft "fixed" them rather than dropping the whole scheme.
"I think the digital distribution/DRM thing could have been fine if they had just used Steam as their model," former vice president of game publishing Ed Fries commented in an AMA last week. "But they proposed something that wasn't like Steam and wasn't good for their customers.
"Then when people complained they completely got rid of it instead of fixing it to be what people want. Hopefully now that they have more time they will fix that mess."Many players and industry figures welcomed the policy change, but others were critical. "This sensible decision will help to lance the boil of criticism that Microsoft has received," observed TIGA's Richard Wilson as part of a roundtable conversation with OXM.
BAFTA games chair Harvey Elliott was less pleased, commenting that "I'm disappointed that the digital download features like game sharing and lending to your friends are being dropped - it's not completely clear why this couldn't co-exist with the removal of online DRM for physical media, and [the features] would help Microsoft lead how gamers manage their digital content."
According to Epic Games man Cliff Bleszinski, the policy might have survived had Microsoft "handled" the backlash better. "Microsoft tried to and ultimately couldn't have it both ways," he wrote. "You can't still have discs and then expect everyone to embrace digital. And, fundamentally, if you take something away that a consumer has been used to without some seriously smooth handling they're naturally going to get upset."
Where do you stand on the matter, now that the dust has settled? A number of Xbox One fans have started a petition to restore certain digital licensing features. At the time of writing it has 29,005 signatories.