Schell: listening to customers was Microsoft’s big mistake

Monday, 5th August 2013 08:21 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft’s decision to reverse its bold Xbox One policies is a mistake typical of companies that restricts real change, according to veteran game designer Jesse Schell.

Speaking to at the GameLab conference in Barcelona earlier in July, Schell – who is both an author and founder of Schell Games – suggested that in Xbox One’s DRM policies Microsoft was trying to give customers a console-based equivalent of Steam that ultimately soured the consumer’s perception of the company.

Schell began, “Your customers want you to stay the same, even if it drives you into the ground.”Somehow, Microsoft didn’t seem to think that would be a reality, or even a problem. The reality is that they can’t do what the customers want.

“Basically, Microsoft said, ‘We’re going to be Steam. You like Steam, don’t you?’ And we all said, ‘No, we hate that. We hate you. You’re an idiot to do that.’ They came out and said, ‘We’re gonna do this new thing.’ And the customers said, ‘No, we don’t want that, we hate that’ – even though it’s what they really want and what they will ultimately buy.

“So now Microsoft has had to say they won’t do all that stuff, but someone will.”

Schell asked theoretically why, whenever companies take the lead in changing tech, they are often doomed to fail. He offered that perhaps it’s because consumers don’t like change, and that listening to customers who want things to stay put is counter to the nature of innovation.

He added, “That’s how it always goes. This is the lesson of the innovator’s dilemma. Why is it that big companies fail when the technology changes? It happens in every industry, so what’s the pattern? What are they all doing wrong?

“Everyone says, ‘Oh, it’s because they’re stupid. Big companies are stupid.’ They can’t be stupid. How did they get that big and stay that big if they’re stupid? Microsoft isn’t stupid. There’s one mistake that they all make, and that mistake is listening to their customers.”

Schell suggested that he only way Valve could have created Steam and have it be such a success is because it didn’t have such a platform before. Had it done so, fans might have not warmed to such a seismic change in tech and content delivery.

He continued, “The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: ‘We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.’

“When you want to do something really different – the solution to the innovator’s dilemma – you can’t take your big brand and say it’s going to be completely different. You need to set up something up on the side, and big companies are hesitant to do that. It’s how Valve could do it [with Steam], because they had nothing before.

“I suspect that we’re going to end up in that world. Are we going to end up there on these consoles? I don’t know. It could be that some dark horse shows up. It could be that Apple shows up. It could be that somebody finds a better way.”

What do you make of the above? Is Schell on the money here? If Microsoft don’t impose these sweeping changes is it only a matter of time before someone else does? Let us know hat you think below.



  1. Judicas

    Another out of touch with reality game designer

    #1 1 year ago
  2. KAP

    Microsoft, likes money more.. plain and simple.

    We gamers spoke up, DRM is for wankers.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. redwood

    @1 schell is a genius! his book on game-design shows how much insight he has in game design. So no he isn’t designing bioshocks and CoW’s but he knows what he is talking about here.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. A2ra3l

    Steam is a free program that includes a shop that sells cheap games with free multiplayer and also keeps everything updated and ready to go for you.

    Microsoft wanted people to pay for a console, which gives you access to an online shop that has overpriced games (which occasionally go on sale, but rarely are cheap)where you need to then pay a subscription fee to access multiplayer (or pretty much anything really except the game itself)

    now I get that with steam you are limited to one copy of your game per user account, but the service itself is free and the games can be got for less than $5 + you don’t have to subscribe to multiplayer and have a broad choice of control methods and your games don’t get effectively erased every generation.

    Consoles have a long way to go before digital distribution only is viable and the people told microsoft that.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Dave Cook

    While I don’t agree with the ‘listening to your customers is bad’ line, I agree with everything else he says 100%.

    Look at the Dreamcast. It was the first console to dare to try and include online gaming in the west, and largely it was unstable, slow and it flopped. Sega and Microsoft then paired up to devise Xbox Live on Xbox 360, which helped to usher in online console play as we know it today.

    Pioneers are often seen as crazy, forceful or woefully out of touch. It takes a brave person to take that first step and receive a hailstorm of shit for it. Microsoft was simply doing what it thought was necessary to bring about real change in the industry. Unfortunately for the company it wasn’t what people wanted.

    I also agree that Microsoft isn’t stupid. To say that is just mental.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Joe Musashi

    I think what he says is mostly true. Though it’s a obviously going to ruffle the feathers of the consumer quite a bit. People tend to forget that not liking the sound of something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong.

    Also, for the most part, people tend to know what they don’t want but not what they do want.


    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 Agree. +1

    #7 1 year ago
  8. runbmp

    Everyone seems to be missing the bit where large publishers like EA and MS are basically saying, trust us, we will make a closed platform where developers have to use proprietary API’s and hardware. We will make your game experience even better and cheaper in the long run.

    The hell you will… you’ve been charging more every year and turning games into marketing gimmicks with recycle game engines…

    I can’t wait t’ill we finally dump Direct X for good and it all goes to Open CL… steambox couldn’t come any sooner…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. polygem

    i wanted to go digital so badly. really looking forward to it still- but the way ms tried to force it onto the market was insane, it was a crime. i mean it. these are the correct terms for it. glad that they u turned. maybe they will think this through again and make it happen at another time. more fair for them AND the consumer.

    Edit: right now i can see sony going so much more into the right direction. ps+ is a good start. they need to expand this service, make a subscrition like netflix for games, more expensive, sure but something like that.
    the thing is, it must feel like value for me. ms just tried full force to dominate the market and dictate the price. if people would have swallowed that it would have become a catastrophy for anyone but ms.

    Edit: also, prism, drm, kinect is such a fucked up combo…i cannot see any good innovation here. nothing i want to support and nothing i want to see in the future.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. mistermogul

    @4 – well said!


    #10 1 year ago
  11. DrDamn

    Kind of agree with him. MS completely messed up the message. Consumers would have been a happier if they were getting something better and MS didn’t effectively communicate why they thought this system was better. The worst thing about it is that they went for a complete reversal, they didn’t add in options to appease the criticism, or clarify what they were offering, or make what they wanted to offer more attractive.

    There were a lot of options for them following the feedback and where they went was the worst they could have chosen. In the end I felt the reaction was more that of a company who had been caught trying to pull wool over the eyes of it’s customers than one trying to move the industry forward.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Paranormal Pett

    It probably will take an outsider to come in and shake things up on the console. I do not trust either Microsoft or Sony, on an enclosed platform, to offer great deals like Steam, gog etc. There will be no reason to, and every reason for them to carry on charging the current rrp. The publishers would demand it, as they can’t seem to cope with selling 5million units of a game and still declare it a flop.

    Admittedly Sony and their PS+ offer better deals, but not by much. If either company really want people to get on board of digital distribution, then offer amazing deals on this generation and prove to the customer that you won’t take them for a ride. As I believe, we as consumers, have all become jaded and sceptical.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. VibraniumSpork

    @11 I think you’ve perfectly summed the up the main problem Microsoft faced. It’s difficult to introduce something ‘new’ with any real degree of success, yes, but it’s impossible if you fail to communicate what you’re bringing to the table clearly and concisely. XBox’s R & D team came up with some interesting and progressive ideas; XBox’s Marketing team then completely fumbled selling them to the consumer.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. silkvg247

    Actually the only thing people (like myself) really wanted changing was the fact you “HAVE TO” connect every day. Without that downright terrible idea, everything else sounded fine to me. Apart from the mandatory kinect, a device clearly designed for US households (traditionally much larger so the device actually works, lol).

    Are you really telling me they couldn’t have designed all the cool stuff they proposed without the mandatory daily connection? Absolute poppycock, they could have catered for offline play just fine without losing the rest. Fact is rather than fix that one mistake, they took their bat home and spat in the fact of everyone, cut their nose off to spite their face and reverted every online feature.

    Also why does Schell compare it to steam, a service that doesn’t force me to connect, can be installed on as many devices as I like, and plays offline games offline just fine.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. orakaa

    @3: no, he doesn’t have a single clue at what he’s talking about.
    Being a brilliant game designer doesn’t mean you know shit about consumer approach, marketing or how to sell a product, because that’s what we’re talking about.

    You can have the most brilliant physician or engineer in the world… but it wouldn’t make it a good teacher, salesman or CEO, because it requires completely different set of skills.

    Again, what Microsoft proposed had nothing to do with Steam, or very little. The main thing that turned Steam into a success was the low prices. Sony is going a little bit in that direction with PS+, but it’s more a renting system than a “real” sale.
    Prices would not go down with digital only: both Microsoft and Sony had the chance to lower their prices on their respective digital stores. They didn’t. Why are people so blind and naive to think that Microsoft would have lowered digital prices with their new consoles: they didn’t even SAID they would, FFS!!!

    You can go digital only (why not), but if what you offer is more restricting than the current offering, then it’s going BACKWARDS. If for next gen publishers start to say “hey look, it’s brand new: now you’ll pay 50$ but ONLY for the first chapter of your game and the end of the game will have to be bought for 40$ as DLC, it’s great, right ?”, well it’s “innovation”, but it’s definitely not progress.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. loci

    “‘We’re going to be Steam. You like Steam, don’t you?’”

    Games on Steam are cheaper than console games and they allow offline play.
    Steam does not make us check in every 24hrs to work.
    Steam does not care what we do with a psychical copy of the game.
    We like and trust Valve Corporation, We hate and distrust Microsoft.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Dragon246

    What I have been saying all along. MS just pushed it a little too far, that it.
    Who needs tablets? Who needs X? Who needs Y?

    This is one of the reasons a great creator should be blessed with a great marketing mind.
    MS, like most silicon valley companies, are very forward looking. Its just that such things aren’t always appreciated.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. DeadAsBefore

    The xbox one policies were nothing like Steam wtf lol. Steam is completely different in every way. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    “it’s because consumers don’t like change, and that listening to customers who want things to stay put is counter to the nature of innovation.”

    Umm the Wii was innovative and kicked all sorts of ass in sales numbers for a long time, so… *BUZZT!!!* Wrong answer there Schell, thanks for playing.

    These kind of people say the stupidest shit, then all the gaming sites post their retardation so they get page hits. Ugh. If it’s not Cliffy B saying something dumb, we get these guys lol.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Hirmetrium

    MS made a lot of mistakes.

    The positives of steam were ignored entirely, with the anchor of a console in addition to the negatives.

    Then Microsoft presented poorly, without full information reveal, dribs and drabs, without a proper straight answer, for a month.

    It should be considered a PR disaster. All they had to do was drop crap like the 24hr check in, promise big big sales and price reductions for games that are available digitally, and seasonal sales, they would of been quids in.

    They didn’t do any of that. They thought, like typical microsoft “Hey, we can control this, while giving consumers what they want”. They controlled too much, and underestimated what gamers want. Note: Gamers didn’t want prices to remain high.

    The first step in tackling this problem is to improve digital sales on XBL – higher than retail prices is a stupid, greedy move and needs to be stopped. Steam already flaunt’s this – its time somebody made a stand against it.

    Once digital prices accurately reflect the cost of production, and aren’t obviously daylight robbery, then I’ll be more willing to embrace such a console.

    Other blunders like the indie and selfpublish approach just added more fuel onto a bonfire. It proved Microsoft had no idea and wasn’t ready. They have obviously now changed their minds, but the point is it shouldn’t of even been considered, let alone happened and presented in the first place.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Kreion

    Steam doesn’t do that now, you forget that offline mode basically didn’t work until relatively recently on Steam.
    If you trust Valve then you are just waiting to be screwed over. You should never trust a large company, tentative trust sure. But never trust them completely, because they will milk you dry.
    Steam doesn’t care about physical copies because practically no one on the PC buys a physical copy of a game. It’s a pretty dead medium as far as PC games are concerned so I don’t know why you think you have a point there.

    Other than that, I agree that the 24 hour check-up is excessive. It should simply require you to be online to activate a game. If you can’t do that then the next time you go online it will activate automatically and if it’s a copy from someone else’s version then it should just disconnect you. If you want to go all digital you are going to need some sort of activation after all, otherwise you are just opening the door to piracy.

    Also don’t group me with you. There’s no ‘we’ as a collective for gamers, I don’t hate any company in particular and certainly not the one whose OS I use -.- With that said I also don’t trust any company completely.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. polygem


    #21 1 year ago
  22. 2021vince

    I feel as though He just called us consumers stupid for not wanting to buy a game concole the potential to brick on purpose!!! Like get real if I’m gonna pay 500 dollars for some thing I want it to work no matter it be connected online or not

    #22 1 year ago
  23. ududy

    Steam is a PC web service, a vastly more open environment than the digital console game market, so it’s hard to see the comparison as far as “what’s good for the consumer” is the guiding parameter.

    Steam has many alternatives today, and will have more in the future. This keeps things competitive, with each service trying to draw customers in with prices, offers and features: gamersgate offers credit for each purchase, gmg offers refunds for completed games, gog offers drm-less games, etc. We wouldn’t have been seeing any of this pressure on Microsoft.

    #23 1 year ago


    Exatly, for the Launch of the new Consoles we can read everyday more about M$ and their tactic… I mean read this for example

    “Basically, Microsoft said, ‘We’re going to be Steam. You like Steam, don’t you?’ And we all said, ‘No, we hate that. We hate you. You’re an idiot to do that.’ They came out and said, ‘We’re gonna do this new thing.’ And the customers said, ‘No, we don’t want that, we hate that’ – even though it’s what they really want and what they will ultimately buy.

    What’s wrong with this guys?

    On the other Side there is Cerny who talks about Innovations but he knows its too early at the moment.

    But whether in my opinion M$ is going in the wrong way with kinect 24/7 so they need to talk with Schell about Innovations? lol haha xDDD of course kinect is a great Innovation to check 24/7 the whole community…

    So Dudes is kinect the right way for M$? This is the number one question…

    #24 1 year ago
  25. redwood

    @15 apparently you don’t know much about consumer approach either .. read the article again … but this time read it with a cool mind.

    Steam is like the apple of the tech industry, “the company that can do no evil”. And no the sales is just one of the important aspects of the success of steam, what do you think game thought when he was starting up steam ” hey guys lets make a company which sells games cheap”!!! Keep it logical please.. all he is saying is that MS mus-judgeged their audience.

    that’s all..
    keep it frosty

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Abberjam

    Xbox had only 2 issues to address:

    1) Find a solution that DOESNT require a 24hr check in
    2) State up front that Digital will offer a minimum guaranteed 40% reduction on physical prices.

    If Microsoft wanted to be like steam, they would have made the consumer benefits clear. They didn’t, because they were looking to create a closed market where zero competition meant high prices that you simply have to pay for an Xbox game. They didn’t listen to consumers, they reacted to low pre-sales.
    As for consumers not knowing what they want….There were plenty of articulate consumers stating clearly that they wanted value for money (be it on re-sale or just low initial cost) and that the infrastructure simply isn’t ready. If you’re going to put a 15GB next gen game on your data cap and spend 36 hours downloading it, it NEEDS to offer good value.

    Anyone still pushing the “It would have been like steam” defense is clearly deluded. Current trend already shows that Microsoft (AND Sony) want to charge MORE for digital, not less. With AAAs mostly sitting in the £49.99 bracket despite a much lower distribution cost. Consoles want to be like steam? Pull the other one, it’s got a giant fucking bell covered in lots of smaller bells on it.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. DrDamn

    “2) State up front that Digital will offer a minimum guaranteed 40% reduction on physical prices.”

    Steam are very good with sales and dropping prices but even they don’t do this. Example CoD:Ghosts PC – £40 on Steam £35 on Amazon. You can’t underestimate the amount of control publishers want and have on their own product pricing.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. sh4dow


    Exactly how does being knowledgeable in game design qualify him for making statements about software distribution as well as privacy and stability issues?! (more so than other other person somehow deeply involved with the industry – like every passionate gamer)

    #28 1 year ago
  29. The_Red

    “Microsoft was trying to give customers a console-based equivalent of Steam”

    Because Steam has 24 hour online checks…
    Because Steam never has serious sales…
    Because Steam doesn’t sell Alan Wake at $3 every now and then…
    Because Steam doesn’t support mods or user content…
    Yeah, because Steam is home of TV and Sports…

    Well done Mr Schell.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. CPC_RedDawn

    Are people forgetting that Xbox Live has a subscription. Meaning that the original polices would have people paying upfront for the box, then having to pay a monthly/yearly subscription to even access the box it self to use it for gaming, etc.

    The original idea was just too early. It WILL happen, we will soon all be online and we will soon all have always on internet and our machines will take advantage of that. Microsoft could easily release an update through ANY Windows version they wanted to would require internet access to authenticate and use. They could do the same with future releases they could even do the same through Xbox 360, but they won’t cause people would be in an even bigger uproar than ever.

    It will comes about just not in this console generation.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. CPC_RedDawn


    The offline mode for steam will work for 90 days before you need to log in again and authenticate with their servers. 90 days is a lot better than 1 day.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Hirmetrium

    @27: Steam’s economics however prove a very different story – low priced games actually make many, many sales. Valve are the only person I’ve seen test this theory, and the evidence proves more and more to be in their favour. It is only EA/Activision whom seem dead set on having premium prices, especially for PC titles (where there is no licensing cost and manufacturing costs are much lower).

    #32 1 year ago
  33. TF_PtMaster


    I agree with no risk no gain. But microsoft did a major error. They wanted to change completly from what they deliver today. This is a mistake.

    Xbox 360 was a evolution of the way we play, first Xbone policies was a revolution, and we all know not all the revolutions are for the better and some of them made it worst for the people.

    Microsoft could made use off all those features if they medium term. What if they started with as they are today after the 180 turn and in 2014 fall they released a new firmware with all these features, like they do today with firmware upgrades in Xbox 360.

    This way would allow them to get a big fan base, and could explain how the changes would improve the way we play games.

    Even if the price tag was the same 499€ all this bads vibes and bad rep could be avoided.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. RandomTiger

    MS didnt give us a reason to like their new systems.
    If it was so great implement it for digital only sales.
    Win people over, don’t push before we are ready without reason.

    MS has squandered its goodwill with its kinect 1 push, ads on the dash etc.
    No more factless announcements, if something is good explain why in exact terms, or show demo’s if possible. This applies to cloud systems too, its too easy just to walk on a stage and announce that you are going to do great things.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. wamp

    Microsoft vision was nice, i liked it, but it just was too much ahead ot it’s time.

    The time will be right when having Internet is equally to having electricity, maybe even when they both run on the same cord :)

    #35 1 year ago

    The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: ‘We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.

    Absolutely spot on.

    I feel as if I could have said, almost word for word, exactly what he’s said here, myself.

    What makes the situation even more ridiculous is that MS have thrown away forward thinking innovation because of the rants of people who have the freedom to go and choose something else.

    They’ve taken their own product and hacked away at it to make it fit into the stale vision of a banality-loving people of what a console should be.

    Even though many of those people don’t even want to buy it in the first place… Either for a year or two, or ever.

    MS have compromised their own vision, instead of sticking with what might truly add something new to the industry.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. jon_

    Ok, so everybody loves or hates the X1 but lets think about something. If this is the new generation what does the X1 offer now? Isnt the same as the Xbox 360 but with better graphics? I guess that what the consumers wanted. Sometimes i think that the consumer only wants a new NES with HD games and a FF VII remake.

    This new generation of consumer-videogame market relationship its turning into one of those relations where one side only complains but never suggests, they dont want anything but they never offer a solution, and the other side needs to adapt to those complains.

    What if next time we take advantage that the companies adapts but to our suggestions and not to our complains?

    Everybody said that Xbox sells overpriced games compared to Steam.
    In first place we dont ever know if the price of the games will drop or not after the console and games launch.

    Second: Why all this Steam bashing comparisons? I doubt that the ppl who plays on Steam wants to buy an Xbox One, and i doubt that ppl with a Xbox360 does not play Steam more than the Xbox, if yes, why do you want an Xbox One.

    It seems that even, the basis of all changes in the industry based on complains are coming from, lets say, people complaining by two cents when they didnt even have one cent.

    When november comes enjoy the console that you decided to buy, enjoy the games and search for the games, if you like the games available at Steam the go to Steam. If you love i dont know, Halo, then go to Xbox One, if you like Killzone or GOW the go to PS4.

    If you dont want something then dont buy it. Let Microsoft drown with their Xbox One on the shelves and the change will be more consumer oriented than a simple “ok you dont want it? fine then. Here you have your Xbox 360-2 that you are going to purchase anyways.


    #37 1 year ago
  38. mark_t50

    I think Microsoft only have themselves to blame in all honesty. I don’t see the problem being down to just poor messaging, the product and policies themselves were faulty and the worst part was there was no need to do what they did, Microsoft could easily have gone ahead with a digital vision without the need to make the machine have to be online every 24 hours, or without the need to restrict the 2nd hand sales of physical versions, and with limiting the ability to lend your physical games to your friends.

    Every single issue that came about was down to Microsoft being too heavy handed imho when there was simply no reason to be, they already offer a compelling enough reason to keep a machine connected 24×7 anyway, why they felt the need to try to lay the smack down on people with the new console I’ll never know, it was completely senseless. My 360 had an ethernet lead plugged into the back of it since I picked it up on launch day, if I had bought a XboxOne it would have been the same, but don’t tell me I have to have it online or make it stop working after 24 hours because I simply will go elsewhere.

    IMHO There is absolutely no reason why Microsoft cannot split physical and digital into two separate entities and allow the consumer to have a choice, let those who want physical stay physical and get the benefits of 2nd hand sales, game lending etc. let those who want digital go digital and get the benefits of better pricing, family library etc. Heck, let people mix and match between the two as they see fit. Honestly, the way Microsoft handled this was beyond dreadful and I have no sympathy whatsoever.

    I also don’t take much value from people who work in this industry and seem to want to remove Physical completely, we seem to be hearing from various people who seem to not only want to see the emergence of a new digital age when it comes to the next gen. but actively seem to want to see the death of Physical media, and that is my problem, I have to ask why ? The only reason I can see is to completely stop 2nd hand sales and game lending etc. So they simply do not have the interests of the consumer at heart. iTunes did not kill the CD, Netflix has not killed the DVD, Kindle did not kill the Book, why do some seem so set on seeing the death of the phyical game. Both Physical and Digital can exist side by side in a consumer friendly fashion, Microsoft got it horribly wrong, they still have an opportunity to find a good middle ground imho, because if they don’t then someone else will (My money is on the steambox).

    #38 1 year ago
  39. MrWaffles

    Extensive online catalog *yay*

    Sharebale game library *yay*

    Awesome kinect *yay

    Also… even you have the the disc, you gotta stay connected the whole time or we fuck you up the arse.

    *eeh… no, we don’t want THAT*

    Oh ok… then we take everything back, bitches!

    *fuck you too, microsoft*

    #39 1 year ago
  40. TF_PtMaster


    I need to disagree.

    75 millions consoles sold worldwide, how many of those owners you think are not happy with the u-turn? The only thing my friends said they will miss is the family sharing program, and yet we knew so little about it.

    And Microsoft like any corporation thinks in macro economy and they are loking for the majority of the Xbox 360 owners. What do you think those consumers want? I, (a seven year Xbox Live Subscribe)r, was so happy with this changes. Microsoft can’t be a elitist company, even Apple can’t in these days.

    Xbox division money is made by the working class, kids, students, not elite one. If Microsoft made the system for you #36 and the very few people that thinks like you, i would’nt believe in Xbox One sucess.

    If you think you have more rights than me about the Xbone, just because you and and the other kid in the block, and these duchvelopers like Schell, want what was previously anounced, i can say this, i live in Portugal, and Microsoft is not lauching the console in my country, even with that, i’ve preorder it from the very next day after u-turn policies. And i will pay 60€ more for the delivery. And i only able to do that because Microsoft changed theis policies.

    The system is launching only in 24 countries (if i’m not in mistake) how many fans you think are doing the exact same thing as me?

    A fan like me is giving Microsoft MONEY, and Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Apple…… They all want….MONEY

    #40 1 year ago
  41. Major Mayhem 70

    I agree with that statement that Schell made concerning what the hardcore wants as well. I’m probably in the minority here but I’ve preordered both consoles. I was glad that one of the consoles was striving to be different from the other. But now, aside from the Kinect, both consoles seem very similar. That’s the way I feel about the current consoles, with Blu Ray being what differentiates the two. Microsoft should have stuck to their plan instead of panicking. They would have taken a hit in the beginning but in time it would have regained its footing. I do believe what Microsoft was initially offering will find its way back to the Xbox 1, just in steps instead of all at once. Too much at once was too much for most gamers to handle. Digital content isn’t going anywhere but up. It has taken over the music industry and starting to make strides in the movies department as well. Video games will succumb to digital content as well. How?!? Well when you see developers starting to offer extra content to games that were downloaded as opposed to a hard copy that you purchased in a store that would be the sign that the push for digital is on. I give it a year. Three to four years before we start seeing the sale numbers of downloads catching up to store bought and in five to six years discs will be lagging behind. PS5 and Xbox Whatever won’t even have a slot to put a disc in after this next generation of gaming fizzles out.

    #41 1 year ago
  42. MCTJim

    Well, the entire way MS presented was pretty clear to me. I didnt care about the 24 hr check, which imo could have been extended and probably would have if people just complained enough about that.

    I hear too much about people saying there is no innovation in the gaming it games or console wise. They presented it to the masses and they didnt bother to read past DRM/24hr stopped right there..People didnt bother to listen past that….I still see it on other sites people still complaining about the DRM and that is why they wont buy.

    I read what their policy was as it was clear at least for me

    If they just left everything in place, extended the 24hr check, they would have done just fine.

    #42 1 year ago
  43. Cobra951

    Listening to customers is a mistake for a business, any customer-oriented business? Yes, #1 is right. Another out-of-touch designer opens his mouth, and gets paraded on VG, for whatever odd reason.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. ysleiro

    Digital is the future any way you slice it.

    Allow me summarize the typical VG247 response: “One more idiot game developer that knows less about his industry than I do.” Or “this guys doesn’t know jack shit.”

    Every time a touchy subject comes up I always get the impression commentators feel they know more about the subject than the expert on the matter. I realize we can have opinions but he is ACTUALLY talking about our opinions as the consumer. In this case our disagreement (as hardcore gamers) with him is solidifying his statements.

    You are only confirming what he is saying.

    #44 1 year ago
  45. Major Mayhem 70

    The sad part is that most of those people that bucked the idea probably weren’t going to buy it anyways. Those of us that understood what MS was saying, now feel cheated out of what is to come anyways. But instead of now its later.

    #45 1 year ago


    The point that is being made here is that whatever your, my or anyone else’s opinion is on the original X1 policies, we will probably never now how successful they mat have been, now.

    Just because you and your friends may not have bought one, or been able to, that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t have been other people who would have.

    How many of your friends own a Wii Balance Board, for example? Not many, I’m willing to assume… But that didn’t stop Nintendo selling over 20 million of them.

    Basically, you may have not liked the original X1 policies, but now it looks like the original vision that MS had won’t ever see the light of day.

    That may not have been a problem for you, because you probably could have just bought a PS4. You had an alternative.

    But I don’t.

    You had multiple options (PS4, Wii U), but now my only option has been changed.

    The original vision is fading, and I’m left with a console that is barely different from the PS4, other than in exclusives.


    Exactly. It’s difficult to justify buying the two of them, when they end up being so similar.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. salarta

    Aaaand Schell has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

    People want innovation. They clamor for it. This is why so many people jumped on board with Kinect even though it was obvious Microsoft was just trying to jump on the bandwagon started up by Nintendo. What people don’t want is bullshit draconian schemes that are designed to screw over the consumer, intentionally or unintentionally.

    XBox One’s DRM would not have been Steam for consoles. Not by a longshot. Steam has tons of sales to get games much cheaper than on physical media, you can put the games on as many computers as you want with no fear of going over a limit, and you can play your games offline without any problems. XBox One’s DRM would have limited access to only one console at a time, it would have required regular internet access even for offline games, it would have made physical media completely pointless, and I sincerely doubt Microsoft would’ve provided any meaningful sales, especially if they somehow dominated the whole market.

    And on the physical media front, I know some people in the industry are obsessed with digital as the sole future form of access, because they’re selfish and think solely about what they want, but there are many people that like to have an actual physical object that holds the game.

    Microsoft was not making themselves into Steam. They were making themselves into something else, something more draconian, and consumers told Microsoft they didn’t want something that pretends to be Steam but is actually the complete opposite on every level except for the games being digital.

    And saying big companies can’t be stupid just because they were smart enough to become big companies is stupid. No, not just stupid. Ignorant. Schell is basically saying that being smart all your life up to the present guarantees that it’s impossible for you to ever do anything stupid. And that’s moronic to suggest.

    Lastly, I like how Schell tries to not-so-subtly incite fear in the current companies that an outside party is going to swoop in and steal the market away by doing things that no consumer ever wanted or asked for.

    tl;dr Schell has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. If it’s suggestive of anything, it’s far more suggestive of an agenda as a developer to get plans instituted that financially benefit his company than of a concern for the direction of the industry for consumers.

    #47 1 year ago
  48. MCTJim

    @45 I am still holding out for the possible return of the family sharing. At least I can still buy digital downloads of the games I want like BF, CoD, Titanfall etc.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. Lengendaryboss

    Did i add my opinion? No? Ok let me dive in:
    I will admit i’m not a fan of MS original vision and whether you argue it or not or you like it or not, my opinion still remains.

    To the people that implied this: Do you honestly think it was Sony fanboys that reverse engineered this? Fuck No it was the customers that cared for Xbox, why would they reverse engineered it (as it was flaw) and then create a petition?

    Ok my opinion if the customer doesn’t like what he/she sees in a product, he/she has the right to voice their opinion on it: we have seen this is the past with passive acts of rebellion like holding signs near the place of target. Now they wouldn’t do that if they didn’t care. What the customer shouldn’t do is bend over and take it up the ass or keep silent. This Schell guy is all wrong why wouldn’t MS listen to the people buying into their product, that type of ignorance will get you nowhere ask Sony.

    Point is if customers don’t like something then they will get their point vocal.

    #49 1 year ago
  50. spazman

    the shit box is a over priced half way house feeder console on it’s way to to become a fully dedicated server input and stream device. I think it’s time for the game publishers especially rockstar to cut out the middle man (dick) in MS’s case, get several third party’s to build a little box and there you go. F**k MS, who died and made them the boss of gaming.

    #50 1 year ago
  51. monkeygourmet

    One of my main problems, with a lot of the ‘next gen’ features could have been replicated on the 360 to some extent.

    Want us to go digital?

    Show us the benefits on the systems we already own!

    Whats that? COD is £54.99 to download?! Fuck you!

    I have no trust in MS’s practice’s with Xbone as they have barely showed me incentive with a product I already own. Some sales have started and it’s getting a bit better, but for me, it was too little, too late.

    At least Sony offer good savings more inline with STEAM and PC game stores…

    MS had every oppertunity to ease people in on the tail end of the 360 lifecycle, they just missed the oppertunity for smooth tranistion IMO.

    #51 1 year ago
  52. sebastien rivas

    The only reason that threw me off the bangwagon with DRM/24 hour a day check was that I could not play single player game without sending data to prove I am me, I am in my house, I use my own xbox1 that I purchased , and I use the same game disc that I already purchased and that I ultimately used the previous day.

    Basically I don’t mind Xbox/EA partnership to go after copied games which I do not even know if this kind of practice exists for consoles.
    But my point is ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
    We had the:
    1) the “give me the word 5 on page 26 3rd paragraph on your manual” type of game protection.
    2) The copy the code on the back of your manual onto your game protection window.
    3) The protection is straight on your CD/DVD and can’t be copied.
    4) Now you have to be logged in to play a single player game
    5) and with Xbox 1 even better, it check on you without you knowing it.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Enough with this bullshit. I am a consumer, not a thief or a pirate.
    STOP going after me whom pay HIGH price to play the game.

    Don’t you get it yet after 25 years of practice. I understand this is a game in itself for pirate/thieves whereas they want the challenge, they enjoy it and they will do it anyway.

    So STOP ANNOYING the crap out of the consumers!!!!

    What’s next? an annal search everytime I press the power button just to prove I am me and not someone else? and call APD , I’ll let you guess what it stands for.

    #52 1 year ago
  53. viralshag

    @51, Please let’s not act like Sony doesn’t have over priced games on their store. They’re equally as bad when it comes to buying digitally through the console.

    They have a better valued service right now with PS+ (not a better service imo) but when it comes to actually buying games, they’re both poor.

    #53 1 year ago
  54. xino

    I don’t need to read the full article.

    you make products for customers? yes or no?
    so why don’t you listen to what the customers wants?

    #54 1 year ago
  55. sebastien rivas

    Yes, games are overpriced generally speaking. I completely agree with you on that one.
    Though it is not Sony, MS, or even AAA companies fault.
    This is something I outcry here and then whereas the root of the issue is the length and manpower it takes to develop a AAA game. The costs are enormous and failures to profit are so prone to happen that it becomes extremelly tedious for publisher to not come at the AAA company and waive market research and studies that extremely dumb down games just so game may have a wider audience.

    The solution is to use DCC that bypass certain aspect of content creation and also to truncate time consumption during creation and tweaks.
    Therefore I call upon Autodesk again and others to make 1 or more DCC software more 3D game oriented.

    It needs to get faster, create more and in less time! so game price tag could eventually go back under $50 mark. Lower mid class and under just canoot keep up with price increase per console generation.

    #55 1 year ago
  56. bradk825

    It was a bad model, compounded with ridiculously poor communication. Going half way to digital meant having the 24hr checkin and a useless disc in a drawer somewhere. It just didn’t make sense, and they didn’t communicate where they were going with it.

    #56 1 year ago
  57. salarta

    @56: Exactly. If Microsoft had gone full digital, it would have avoided the big problem of an unnecessary double penalty for consumers. Though it also would’ve potentially screwed over manufacturers and stores, since manufacturers would lose business and jobs, and stores would have less to sell. For that reason, I expect stores would have been willing to sell the XBox One, but unwilling to advertise it very much due to an awareness that the XBox One’s success would have meant an end to their whole business.

    Most of the complaints would have still existed, but going full digital would have at least led to two fewer complaints, assuming Microsoft was reasonable enough to do away with 24 hour check-in under a full digital model.

    #57 1 year ago
  58. DSB

    The 24 hour check is what sunk them, not the idea itself.

    If Microsoft had given half a crap about digital throughout this gen, then maybe they would’ve been able to sell it anyway, but they completely fucked themselves over by doing practically nothing to prepare for it.

    And of course that affects the customers. If you haven’t shown them that this is actually way better, then how are they supposed to know? Steam wasn’t an instant hit, it took years to convince people.

    Simply expecting that you can sit on your ass for half a decade and then suddenly skip the entire process because you’re big ol’ Microsoft is just complacent and arrogant.

    #58 1 year ago
  59. sebastien rivas

    @ 57 and @ 58

    Yes, while fully digital is a wonderful idea in itself.
    What tells me that something that just happened to Crytek and also to Sony a couple of years ago regarding suspicious activity to the point they had to respectively close websites and ask their users to change passwords as well as close online store and more would not happen again.

    By that I mean my name, my address, and on top of it my CC are volatile?
    Hopefully nothing happened to anyone ( I really hope so). But hearing fully digital does NOT help me buy the console either.
    Gosh, I hope SSN is not something of the future to play games or I will have to drop it all altogether. “Give me your SSN to play this game rated 18+, that will prove us you are indeed over 18)
    I am not getting into conspiracy of any kind but just presenting facts that keeps me on edge.

    #59 1 year ago
  60. Sylrissa

    Yes Steam is DRM and doesn’t allow trading/selling of your game, and only one use of a game code that is tried to your account.

    However Steam is on PC and it’s free, someone doesn’t have to pay 500 to get a box in order to get access to use steam.

    #60 1 year ago
  61. sebastien rivas

    @ 60
    It is free to use therefore I can accept that even if the games are tied to my account.
    would you need the Xbox live sub just to get to games you purchased on xbox 1? if you need xbox live sub then it is not a purchase but a rent to access.

    #61 1 year ago

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