Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by firehawk12, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Well, it absolutely should be held against Mattrick, at least in part, because he contributed to a quite simply disastrous product reveal and completely botched the PR aftermath, and he was directly responsible for a lot of the worst actions EA took during the '90s and '00s. (The other responsible party for the Xbone botch was Phil Harrison -- as has been pointed out, it's funny that Sony completely botched the PS3 reveal, Harrison jumped over to Microsoft last year, and all of a sudden Microsoft starts making boneheaded decisions.)

    It's emblematic of a cultural shift at Microsoft. The company did everything right when launching the Xbox, including going to war with Bill Gates over launching a year after the PS2 in order to have a hardware advantage. Those rebels were serious gamers and they knew what the market wanted.

    Then they were whittled away. Seamus Blackley got bored and wanted to go back to making games. Robbie Bach bailed. Ed Fries was forced out after he lost a power struggle with J Allard (who went on to botch the Xbox 360 and Zune launches). The mentality within the division lost a lot of creativity only to find it replaced by ruthless execution of numbers.
     
  2. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Absolutely. Just because the XBox 360 was very successful doesn't mean we should give them a pass for the mistakes they've made. Agreed, it's been their most successful electronic product, but they've fumbled badly here on their own account with the XBone, and it's been a PR nightmare for them. The only way for them to learn from their mistakes is for them to live through it the hard way and stop blaming the consumer for their problems. They messed up. They should deal with it.
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While Mattrick isn't solely responsible for the Xbox One's PR disaster, as the head of the Entertainment and Devices division at MS he was responsible for the overall strategy and they have made numerous strategic errors under his leadership.

    1) The DRM debacle is the most obvious. The fact that Mattrick didn't anticipate the scale of the backlash and have a PR strategy in place to deal with it was utter incompetence. As you said, MS were completely unprepared at the reveal event, and the fact that execs couldn't keep their story straight on how the DRM would work gave the impression that MS were trying to obfuscate the issue. Mattrick also had his own personal PR blunders, particularly the golden "buy a 360" soundbite.

    2) Sony beat them on price. After being burned on the $599 fiasco for PS3, it should have been obvious to MS that Sony were going to target a price in the $300-400 range and MS should have aimed for the same price-point. The really damning thing about that is it was a self-inflicted wound, if they hadn't insisted on bundling the Kinect with the console then they would have matched Sony on price. That looks to have been a big mistake.

    3) There's evidence that MS are several months behind schedule and are rushing to meet the launch deadline. There's rumours that Sony will beat MS to begin mass production and that MS are having yield issues with their APU, rumours which appear to be substantiated by the fact that preorder allocations for the PS4 are 2 or 3 times higher than the Xbox One. It will simply be easier to find a PS4 for sale this Christmas, which means Sony should have a larger install base to build off of. That could put MS at a massive disadvantage long-term.

    4) Under Mattrick's leadership, Xbox's standing among core gamers has declined. Exclusives have dried up, MS focused their attention on Kinect and casual gamers, while their E3 presentations in recent years have been cringe-inducing. The casual gamer strategy was successful for them in the short term, but core gamers, the ones that are going to be the early adopters for these new consoles, have grown weary of MS. With the PS3, Sony has shown a dedication to releasing quality and diverse exclusives over the life of a console, and PS+ appears to offer much better value than XBL Gold. Sony has the better reputation with core gamers over the last few years.

    MS got outmanoeuvred by Sony this time, but it was mostly because of their own screw-ups and not because Sony had an amazing strategy. Mattrick has to take much of the blame for that even if he's not wholly responsible.
     
  4. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It should also be noted that Mattrick only joined MS long after the 360 launched, so he wasn't responsible for it and its success like he was with the XBone. With the XBone, he was in charge of the launch and reveal, which clearly showed he didn't know what he was doing and the company took a hit due to his mistakes.
     
  5. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mannheim, Germany
    It's because once you work at this level you are usually pretty well connected and the more bullshit/spin you can spew the more you can screw up and still remain part of that circle.

    You also don't really apply for these jobs.. you just call up a few people you know and tell them you're looking to move on and find new challenges.. basic resumes or HR interviews don't apply.

    So you have to screw up multiple times and spectacularly with no possibility to reassign blame to someone else before you get evicted from the elite group but usually at this point you will be a multimillionaire so the blow may not be as hard (even softer if your severance pay is generous).