It’s time for somebody, myself, specifically, to sit down to a nice meal of crow. I was far from the only one assuming that the Xbox One’s bizarre restrictions on used games were instituted at the behest of the publishers. However, more and more it appears that they’re every bit as befuddled and confused as we are.
Take, for example, Peter Moore, chief operating officer of the publisher gamers love to hate, EA. Moore, asked about the Xbox One’s DRM, categorically denied EA had anything to do with it:
We have not internally even begun to sit down and answer those questions…EA has never had a conversation, and I have been present at all of them, with all of the manufacturers, saying you must put a system in place that allows us to take a piece of the action or even stop it. Absolutely incorrect.
Just spin, right? Stop and consider, though, that Ubisoft has said pretty much the same thing, and you start to wonder. Obviously the publishers knew that Microsoft was working on something along these lines; we’ve known that Microsoft was toying with a system like this for months. At the very least they had to know Microsoft was implementing a licensing system.
But either the extent of the system, the extent of the hostility towards the system, or both, took publishers by surprise. The fact that two major publishers claim to have nothing in place yet would indicate that they’ve got no idea how to handle it, and it’s telling that both interviews mention GameStop as a “valued partner”. The good news is that it seems likely they’ll take note of fan outrage, and response to the PS4, and likely leave things as they stand. Still, we’d love to be a fly on the wall at E3; we bet there are some interesting conversations happening right now.