Microsoft: DRM is a GREAT THING, Stop Dancing Around and Own IT!

Get off the fence and go all out Microsoft!

Get off the fence and go all out Microsoft!

I am so UNBELIEVABLY sick of every single industry news article focusing on the new Xbox ONE and its DRM.  For those of you under a rock (and who probably won’t care because the XBox One won’t work under your rock) Microsoft announced in the past month details on its new video game/media console coming out this fall.  What has every single idiot in the media focused on in these new tidbits of information?  That gamers won’t be able to share games and buy used games like they are used to doing.  (GASP!)

Seriously, is everyone in this industry an idiot?  Does no one else see what has happened with digital media in other industries in the past 20 years to know that strict DRM is a GOOD THING???  Yeah, I said it.  DRM on consoles is a good thing.  Come to think of it, it is a GREAT thing.

Let me explain.

First of all we know that every human being in the world only cares about themselves.  Hardly any of us are Mother Teresa  types of individuals willing to put others first.   So everyone just looks at DRM on consoles like the idiots who sit on welfare here in the US and they refuse to look for a job because they think they have somehow “earned” the right to these benefits.   “I bought this game, so I should be able to do whatever I want with it.”

Why has no one dug through the archives and looked through the media hype behind the change between producing music on CDs (what are those? are they like an 8-track?) and the release of legal music for download that would be (OMG!) limited to use on just a couple devices in your household.  Remember that?  Napster?  Lawsuits?  Everyone swore they would boycott buying music through services like iTunes.  How has everyone forgotten?  Paying $1 for a song?  Outrageous remember!!!????  Of course now I have a Rhapsody account that I pay $15/month and use on 3 computers and 3 mobile devices for downloading songs and streaming on as many devices as I want.  I wonder what Spotify would have looked like in 1999 if it was side-by-side with Napster?

Games are no different than apps, music, video, etc.  Artists and programmers develop something that is delivered to consumers as bits and bytes now.  Video used to be slides, reel-to-reel, VHS and even weirder distribution like LaserDiscs.  Now ever single cable provider offers shows and movies on demand.  Services like Hulu, Netflix and now Redbox offer TV shows and movies streaming anytime you want.  Guess what?  It won’t be long before brand new movies will be released digitally to consumers instead of through movie theaters.  Old fashioned distribution channels drive up prices needlessly.

Apps have had the easiest road of all, simply because they were able to start from scratch.  Apps didn’t used to come delivered on a physical piece of media.  No one waited by the mailbox for their latest app to arrive via the postman.  No one camps outside a Best Buy waiting on the latest release of an app at midnight.  So there never has been any arguments with consumers complaining that they can’t share apps.  My wife has an iPhone 5, I have a Windows 8 Nokia Lumia 822.  We both have bought Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and many other games separately and NEVER ONCE did I think that it seemed wrong to buy the same exact games twice.

Why is that?  A couple of reasons that all of the morons whining about Xbox One’s DRM keep failing to address.

This leads right into my points for Microsoft to follow and take control of this situation and own it.  I am sure they follow my blog of course. 🙂

1.  Distribution – Honestly, this one is super simple.  But it is also the hardest to break kind of like oil companies and electric cars.  There is so much dependence on these greedy and unnecessary retail companies to help sell their games that Microsoft is afraid to cut them off completely.  Stop being pansies and push digital downloads over physical discs.  Do the one thing that we all know is possible, make digital downloads cheaper.

Distribution methods now are archaic, expensive, not necessary and honestly not good for the environment.   I run a retail store and I know wholesale prices of our physical games are $48 each for $60 games.  Wholesale companies probably make $5-$8 per disc.  Larger companies like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Gamestop get them direct from the manufacturers and probably pay $40/game.

Before that level there are the actual manufacturing plants that produce the games.  I interned at Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation here in Terre Haute, IN when I was in college and the last I knew all PS3 games were made right in that plant.  The cost for making a physical disc in that plant including all molding, artwork, boxing, wrapping, etc was under a buck.  The plant itself sold them out to the next level of distribution for $7 each.  Those prices might be different today, but the ratios are probably the same.

I believe that there is $25-$35 in costs associated with delivering a physical disc.  And our poor planet earth now has to deal with 750,000 copies of Madden 07 that no one wants to collect/play/sell/trade anymore along with hundreds of other titles.

2.  Sharing Digital Games – Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here Microsoft.  You can follow the lead of iTunes, Rhapsody and others by allowing content to run on “X” devices.  Or you can follow the lead of smartphones and other app stores and literally just allow them to play on the one device.  Stop making things complicated and trying to let friends share them with friends on Xbox LIVE or 10 family members share them.  All you are doing is trying to appease the media because they are calling you a big evil corporation and confusing the dickens out of the rest of us.

Once you are all digital, sharing is a non-issue.  We don’t share phone games/apps, we don’t share Steam games (but they love to sell them in bundles and you can “gift” codes to your friends, genius moves that are available once you embrace all-digital distribution) so we don’t need to share Xbox games.

3.  Lower the Price – I know I mentioned this above in the distribution example, but this could perhaps be the single most important factor in the entire debate.  If your new DRM allows you to limit the play on a digital download, then you are saving $20+ per game by not using standard retail channels for physical games.  That means you can AT LEAST price brand new titles at $40/game right out of the gate.

But don’t stop there, the app model I talked about before where my wife and I both have purchased the same game to play on each of our phones works because the apps are cheap.  If you truly go all out and control distribution of games physically and focus on digital distribution you should be able to sell more games that previously would not have been a sale at your level (used games now generate $0 for Microsoft and publishers).  Standard economics also tell us that if the price is lowered you will do more volume.

Valve is a great example for how games can be sold digitally at a greater volume with price discounts.  Currently console manufacturers have no way to put any of their games on sale for a weekend special.  Everything has to be done through retails stores.  It is so difficult to have buyers make instant purchases based on impulse that a weekend digital sale would produce.  Xbox should know this, they have been doing Deal of the Week specials forever on Arcade titles and older retail games that can be digitally downloaded.

So Microsoft can make more money and consumers can buy games cheaper.  Who would be mad about that?  Retailers.

4.  Call out Publishers – It is like meeting behind the school yard for a fight.  You get out there and your friends all day have told you to finally put an end to the school bully’s reign of terror.  When you get out there and face down the bully you glance over your shoulder and your friends are nowhere to be found.  Gulp.  Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

The same thing has happened to Microsoft with publishers.  We all know that meetings have taken place between publishers and console manufacturers to try and figure out how to stop used game sales.  It is so much baloney when the publishers are now coming out and saying “we support used games and retail outlets”.

We all know that publishers stand to gain a sizable amount of money with DRM policies that are strict and no used game market.  They tried the online pass scenario but of course that didn’t work because consumers considered that as an “add-on” product instead of a portion of their actual game purchase.

5. Tell Big Box Retail to Take a Hike – Its time.  Don’t be scared, pulling off the band-aid will only hurt for a little bit.  By making a clean cut at the same time as everything above it will be a non-issue.  Think about this scenario:

On Release all Xbox One games are download only.  PS4 games are all disc or download.  PS4 games are $59.99 while Xbox One games are $39.99.  Game Over.  We don’t need Target, GameStop, Best Buy or any other retailer to deliver our games any more.  Put a fork in them, they are done.

The good part about all of this….

Microsoft you still have plenty of time to clear this up and do the right thing.  It might be tough for now, but it was tough for Apple when they started iTunes and it was tough for Valve when they started Steam.  Look at both of them now.

Here is another suggestion:  Stop letting the fluffy PR folks talk that are trying to “spin” this DRM stuff.  Duct Tape their mouths shut and let more of the brains behind the scenes give us their views.

Here is a non-verified leak from a Microsoft engineer that explains their point of view that is TOTALLY different than the sissy-mary junk that MS has been spewing at their press conferences so far:

http://www.neowin.net/news/anonymous-xbox-engineer-explains-drm-and-microsofts-xbox-one-intentions

Whoever that guy/gal is… put them in charge of the remainder of the PR content dealing with DRM.  I honestly believe that is a legitimate source of information because EVERYTHING they are saying makes sense for what the future is going to be like.

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23 thoughts on “Microsoft: DRM is a GREAT THING, Stop Dancing Around and Own IT!

  1. You know, you might have had some really good points to make in this article, but after you called me an idiot repeatedly before even making it out of the intro paragraphs, I decided not to bother reading the rest. I’m actually not an idiot, and you might have managed to persuade me of your side, but I’ve got better things to do on a Saturday than subject myself to repeated insults from a random business owner. So I’ll go on hating XBox’s DRM software (maybe under a rock?) and be sad that my typically warm fuzzy feelings for your business just diminished substantially.

    • Robyn – Are you suggesting that you are part of the media by saying that I called you an idiot? Care to share a link to the articles you have written about the Xbox One DRM? I am always happy to be proven wrong and I am always anxious to read other’s opinions whether I agree or not. However to date, every article that comes through on news feeds in the video game media seems to just regurgitate the same view over-and-over.

  2. I have to agree with Robyn. Calling people idiots is rather immature. That is YOUR opinion. Yet you’re arrogant enough to tell people that their opinion is ridiculous. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid!

    • BMB – that is why I have this blog, so I can share my opinion. I can call them like I see them. I am not a professional writer and I am not biased toward one side or the other. But I love to follow news in the gaming industry and I am fed up with the lack of coverage on so many other aspects of the new consoles because the easy thing is to continue to push the hot button on the topic that will bring out the most pitchforks and torches. And I used the word idiot because I try to keep my blog as PG as possible, the other words I wanted to use might not be appropriate for some of my customers at our stores.

  3. I am surprised at this view (maybe because I am one of the morons who doesn’t care for it). Question: How did DRM affect eBash when Diablo 3 was released?

    I believe the music industry example is flawed just because the music industry is dying. iTunes still does some business but now people just pirate. I hear this non-stop on interviews on O&A and Howard Stern where that industry is dying and they make the money touring now.

    While I can see your point on buying a game on your mobile device. But that was $1 maybe $2. But would you have bought that $1 game on multiple devices if it was $20? My example is DVD to the switch to Blu Ray. I love Star Wars, I didn’t go out and re-buy the Blu Rays because I already have the DVDs. My family can all enjoy them as well without issue me being there or not. They didn’t have to worry about checking into Netflix or loading up Flixter verifying the account, they could just press play. Side rant: Since it was physically on hand they wouldn’t have to worry about the server crashing or the hard drive where the movie was dying. Or when the internet went down due to the storms they could sit down and watch it since we had power but no cable which is a benefit of having it hard copy where its tangible not in this “cloud”

    Where will people get to really discover new things will be worrisome. I remember growing up and being introduced into Street Fighter II by borrowing a friends copy for SNES. Once I borrowed it I was hooked and that is what I saved up my allowance for so I could go purchase my own copy. If DRM was in effect I would have played 10 mins got beat up good by my friend and when he went home, I couldn’t have played the game (if it was the 2nd person who borrowed the game) and therefore lost out on that discovery that I now still love. Or that time a buddy lent me his Halo copy (I was the 3rd person to borrow this) then after playing for a weekend I was hooked and bought everyone since the release. Yes that a big titles so bad example but what about Lost Vikings, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Oddworld. All of those games I borrowed and would have never experienced them if they asked me to drop $20/$30 I would have never even looked at them but since I was able to borrow from a friend put a weekend into them I decided to buy them. The worst part I fear is that MS won’t be dev friendly as PS4 and Steam so those deals that should be there won’t and XBox will miss out on indie things (as seen by DayZ and Oddworld not coming to Xbox One due to them being indie and not with a major studio….)

    I don’t care for the cloud. How easy is it for things to get taken down? PSN was brought down for a month. If that happens to MS with the DRM sorry you spent $500 on a console plus the $60 games. If the distribution goes cheaper it would be great but looking at the trend already set I don’t see happening look at PSN with the Vita physical copy same price and digital same for Nintendo eShop ($39.99 for Fire emblem…$29.99 Amazon, $24 at Best Buy…) while I would love having it on my console at midnight I don’t want to deal with Diablo 3 and Sim City DRM issues making those first weeks non-enjoyable.

      • With Demos you don’t get the full experience. If you demo’ed 1 level of Lost Vikings I wouldn’t have gotten it. Or Here is Ryu vs Ken fight to see if you like it… XBLA demos are free now and I rarely pick them up. I like test driving first, I guess.

    • Joshnorm – DRM on the PC hasn’t affected us any different than the way we handle any other games. We purchase every game for eBash and have licenses with the publishers to use them in our store. We own a copy for every single instance that a game is launched. For Diablo 3 we purchased 4 “store” accounts that players can share, but games like that will never be shared/traded anyway. That is actually a great example for MS’s DRM policy. A game that saves your progress/loot/settings you would never share with your brother/friend/neighbor. You don’t want them to mess with your stuff.

      Most of the arguments that say people just pirate the music or games I don’t buy either. Pirating is a problem on every platform for every type of media. Companies have been fighting it for years. Those people that pirate media don’t realize that it hurts in the end because there is less money to be used to produce the next song/game/app or whatever. But most people pass it off because they think all musicians are rich. The same way people try to steal things from my eBash stores because they think we get everything for free from Microsoft and that we are also rich.

      The cost has to come down as part of strict DRM. That is one of my points. If the games are cheaper, we won’t worry about how entitled we need to feel about our $60 purchase.

      • So eBash didn’t get affected by this: http://www.digital-digest.com/news-63365-Diablo-IIIs-DRM-Launch-Disaster.html

        I didn’t think that you bought one copy then loaded it on several PCs. I am talking about the disaster DRM issues that both SIM City 3 and Diablo 3 had at launch. That just one concern. XBL has gone down before (I got a nifty copy of Undertow for my troubles) PSN has been hacked and gone down for an extended period of time. Odds are it will happen again.

        The thing about people who pirate media is they don’t care if it hurts. They just do it. I mean the numbers are staggering when you look at them: http://www.go-gulf.com/blog/online-piracy/

      • Honestly at eBash we see more of the general public and not the super fans. We had around 10-15 that came at midnight to play D3 on release and I remember that they were upset by the problems, but most went home to bed and tried again the next day. After they had it worked out I am not sure any of them even remember the launch problems.

        For SimCity this time around we still do not offer the game. No question about it that the DRM situation in those cases are terrible for gamers, but in all honesty the problems will continue to diminish. I sometimes wonder why people spend months anticipating the new release of a game, play the heck out of it for a month, then move onto the next thing. They do it over-and-over and I am not sure if they will ever learn that they are wasting so much of their energy being anxious for a game. 🙂

  4. Great blog, and a great link. MS needs to own this, like you said. They were bold and ruffled feathers when they made the original Xbox broadband-only, and look what happened? MS is ahead of the curve, but they’re afraid of ignorant back-lash. Meanwhile, Sony looks like the hero, but they probably have every intention of following MS as soon as the hype dies down. Meanwhile, MS will get ahead of the action and have the premium digital service that Sony will wish they had.

    So yeah, give us cheaper digital copies and suddenly everyone will quit crying. Sharing with your friends? PC gamers never had it that good, let alone TEN people? that should be a huge selling point, not a detraction. I think I read that only 2 people can play the same game at the same time, but that’s huge!

    (calls Brother) hey get on Call of Duty with me.
    (Brother) I don’t have that game.
    (Me) Click on my profile, click on my game library, and click on COD. I’ll start matchmaking.
    (Brother after hours of playing with me) That was awesome! I want this game, too!
    (Brother clicks on “buy now” and now he owns a copy.)

    What could possibly be better than that??!?!!

  5. Sorry, but having my entire collection of X-Box One games held hostage to a 24 hr check in is a no go. There are many better ways of going about controlling second hand sales/borrowing of titles without this ridiculous restriction.

    If I was MS, I would have set it like this:

    Buy a new game:
    Log into Live;
    Enter [game] code;
    [Game] gets added to your account;
    Install from disc/download it;.
    Once activated it belongs to you until you tell Live that it isn’t (no need for arbitrary check-in’s to verify it).

    Loan a game:
    Log in to live,
    Go to [Game] tile
    Select [Game] Loan option, giving you a temporary code that your friend can use (up to you whether you give him the disc to install or just let him/her download).
    While the game is on loan, it’s disabled in your library (still there, just greyed out) while your friend has access.
    When you want it back, log into Live, go to the game tile in your library and revoke the temporary code, the next time your friend logs into Live their informed that access has been revoked (and I suggest that there should be a time-limit on when the Xbox checks Live for this revocation, maybe a week or a fortnight, if they don’t log into live to check within this period then their access to the game is automatically revoked and it’s returned to your library the next time you log into live).

    Sell a game: Log into Live, go to the game tile and select the sell option removing the title from your account (if you select sell in error you can re-activate by re-entering the code, but if the game has already been passed on then this won’t be possible).
    If you trade with a shop they should be able to check if the game code is not associated with an account (the same as with the current process, I believe). Private sales are the same but probably should include some kind of authentication code for the buyer to know the game has been removed from the sellers account before they pay for the licence.

    In any account, the above process still needs the Internet, but it doesn’t require the daily check, and could (theoretically) spend the rest of it’s days offline if I never bought/sold/lent any other games.

    • Blademrk – The daily check is a bit confusing still because they haven’t given a total amount of detail. What if we are on vacation for a week and do not turn on the Xbox One? Then does it just verify on day #8 when we get back and log on?

      Also I feel like it is very, very rare when people are not online. We live in a digital age and most of us are on our smartphones all day long anyway. The only person I know who does not have broadband is my parents, who live way out in the country. However they could have Verizon’s MiFi or Wild Blue which both would allow the DRM to authenticate.

      Another confusing part to me is why the games need to be checked daily. If the game isn’t played, either on my Xbox One or my friend’s, then why does it need to authenticate? Isn’t it going to be handled like a license key on a PC game and tied to the processor ID and LIVE account? I don’t understand how a second person would play a certain game without their system throwing up a flag saying that it is already tied to the XBL account “BoZack” and he will need to login to release it before it can be played on another tag on another box.

      • I’d assume, that if you go away on holiday (with the One powered off at the mains) when you get back you’d have to connect to Live before you’d be aloud to play any of your games again.

        It’d be annoying if you bought a huge collection of games and then you had to move and wherever you moved to either did not have any internet or it took 2 weeks / a month to get your connection sorted (you hear horror stories) and there are plenty of areas here with no broadband access (or <2mb connections).

        3G dongles here (UK) are extortionate for data charges and I wouldn't like to be reliant on one of them if my net connection dropped for any length of time (not that I can get a decent 3G signal here anyway).

        Looking at the sharing system they have set-up (again it's all assumption until we can specifics from them – which aren't contradicted by someone else in the Microsoft camp) It would seem that if I have a library of 20 games and 10 "Family" accounts who can access my games anyone of these 11 accounts (again assuming that my account doesn't form part of the "Family") can play any of my games, however if I'm playing Halo 5 then none of the "Family" accounts can play my copy of Halo 5 until I'm finished (unless they also have a copy of Halo 5 tied to their account), if one of those accounts is playing it before I go to play it then I will have to wait until they finish playing it (whether or not there's a notification system to let you know the game when the game is freed up I don't know).

        The lending of games to friends is definitely a confusing one. It sounds like your friend has to pay the current retail price of the game to play it (unless you're logged-in on their system) which to me doesn't really sound like you're lending the game, only sharing your installation media.

  6. “A couple of reasons that all of the morons whining about Xbox One’s DRM keep failing to address…”

    Very poor way to open up your side of the argument. Immediately puts off anyone from listening to your points without biases or defenses.

    As for the whole manufacturing process part, while it would indeed make games cheaper by making games digitally-distributed only, one must consider the impact that would have. In your own example, you mention the Sony plant in Terre Haute. Imagine if Sony decided to go digital only and shut down that entire plant because it would no longer be profitable to keep it open. Suddenly, thousands of people in the Terre Haute area would be affected by them, their husbands, wives,fathers, whatever, now being unemployed. Now imagine that on a worldwide scale. Suddenly, in order to work for a company like Sony or Microsoft in their gaming division, one would need to be well-versed in computer science, leaving individuals who previously could have had a role in those companies up-creek without a paddle.

    On your point of sharing games, the music analogy is weak for a couple of reasons. One, bands/artists tend to get almost nothing from services like Rhapsody and Spotify. If we carry this over to gaming, developers would also get less than what they get now from game sales. Also, as many others have said, large music companies are dying because of their inability to make money. People continue to find ways to pirate music and get around blocks, games will be no different.

    Another problem I have with Microsoft’s policy is that I am not a true owner of what I have payed for. It’s comparable to me paying for guitar, but then I am required to check in with the seller every 24 hours from then on to ensure that I somehow am not doing something that they don’t want me doing like selling it to someone else or lending it to a friend without giving them a cut. It is insulting that I cannot decide what to do with something that I payed my hard-earned money on. Microsoft’s Big Brother attitude infuriates me and I am disappointed that you don’t feel the same way.

    • SGR – Honestly I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am just a small business owner who is fed up with everything I am forced to read in my industry news feeds. So I decided to speak my mind through my blog. If I thought Microsoft gave a rats behind about what I thought then of course I would have spent way more time writing a completely technical article with little to no emotion.

      Of course I understand the way it would change jobs in manufacturing plants even in my own home town. DADC is one of the largest employers here and many folks will be without a job. But that is an inconsiderate way to think if we want our town, state and country to be strong long-term. Every revolution leaves behind another industry that puts good people out of work. Many people had mothers who were telephone operators and as technology changed the way the phone network connected calls they had to find new jobs. I surely hope that we never make decisions as a country to stick with an antiquated technology just to keep a group of people employed.

      The music analogy deals with the distribution side but you are correct, it isn’t a good analogy when it comes to the price structure. Just like my example of the apps, we don’t ever expect blockbuster games to be sold for $1. When studios put millions into development the price points will probably never be under $20 or $30. But again, we can’t hardly predict that because to my knowledge used game companies do not publish their sales numbers. Is it possible to find out somewhere how many times games like BioShock have been resold? I would guess that at least 50% of the Bioshock games sold at resale were traded in. Single player story-based games are the ones hurt the most by trading and sharing.

      Maybe I am naive for “trusting” MS with my digital media, but as an original Xbox LIVE beta tester I have never had a problem with them not doing what they say they were going to do yet. I have bought Xbox LIVE games, forgot about them, went back and downloaded them again. Honestly I really prefer it that way. I am not the type of person who likes to see a wall of my physical games lined up. Of course I have also lost everything in a flood of my home in 2008, so material possessions are not that important to me and that probably clouds my judgement of how other’s should feel about their material things.

      • I was in StL in ’08. Sorry to hear you lost everything. I remember that I went to Clarksville to help sandbag that year. The roads were flooded and I could hardly even get there lol.

        This is where it is nice to have OPTIONS to rely on MS if you would like. That is how it currently is. And I don’t see the need for MS to “force” people to change unless there is something more to it (a.k.a $$). They could drop the price of GoD and see how sales go. In fact they just did that. I have never bought a GoD from them until they just had that sale where I picked up Crysis, Mass Effect, and The Orange Box (fittingly a Steam game) all for $5 each. My understanding is that the X1 will not support these games so I am essentially renting them until 2017 or whenever they stop selling 360s lol. But pay $60 and know that there will be a day when I will have to give it up? No thanks, I’d rather buy it for $50 and install it anywhere I want multiple times a la PC games.

        So my comment to MS is, “Drop the prices first, and THEN we’ll talk about *added* DRM.”

  7. What it comes down to for me is this. I have played video games for 27 years. If I want to go over to a friends house and bring a game with me to play that shouldn’t be an issue. Mayne I do that with 20 friends. It shouldn’t be limited. Ialso don’t play games everyday. Or get online everyday. Also, I don’t like digital media. I’m also not to sure on how reselling worjs but I heard something about it being super limited.

    Also using apps as a comparison is bad. Apps are super cheap. They don’t cost $60 a pop.

    I can understand you trying to defend xbox since mist of the consoles in ebash are 360s… but if I have to choose between a system that wants to force me to do a bunch of stuff or prevent me from doing things, and one that doesnt, and still has most of the same super popular games cause they launch multi platform….then the decision is clear.

    Not that it really matters all that muc h to me anyways. I play mostly on PC. But I did plan on getting one of the new consoles. It was gonna be xbox until welk that happened.

  8. Hi there,

    I agree with many of your points but I think it is pretty easy to see how their announcements were industry changing and worthy of note/concern. And those changes affect everyone from the large corporations to little guys like you and me. So I disagree with the “idiot” comments. You have a valid opinion, but you should respect the fact that not everyone is on the same page as you.

    Frankly, you could have simplified this post and just said “Microsoft: Copy Steam”. Well truth be told, despite Steam’s popularity many people do not like it. Same with Phone apps. But I think it comes down to how free people feel they feel they are with the products that they purchase with their hard earned money. With Xbox you are tied down to an Xbox. With Steam you are tied down to Steam but you can install it on practically anything. Same with phone apps (except Apple). I mean if MS pisses you off an you want to send a message with your dollars, how do you migrate your entire games collection? It is the same reason I have never bought anything (or even installed) iTunes. On the other hand I have bought DRM free music from 7digital, Amazon and Ubuntu. With each of these choices I can take my music and use it on any device. I can even stop buying from Amazon if it turns out they are sacrificing babies in order to keep prices so low. I can stop buying and still hold on to what I bought from them.

    I think in an ideal situation is no DRM and people fund the producer to publish the work himself (like many Kickstarter projects). No DRM and everyone is happy (hell I think even iTunes dropped DRM). MS is going in the opposite direction of recent entertainment evolution it seems.

    I know this isn’t a full argument for or against your points but rather my 2 cents. Take from it what you may.

    On the other hand I do have to say you should be in charge at MS because ANY idea would have been better than what MS came up with (marketing-wise).

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