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Failure sparks new criticism of Xbox DRM: Unplayable for days

Server outages are a nuisance, but what has been happening around the Xbox network in recent days once again shows the horror of the always-online DRM world. Repairs to the service failed repeatedly, causing games to fail to start for days.

Users are angry that they couldn’t start their games

As we were able to report, the Xbox cloud services have been crashing since last week. On Friday, the developers responsible then confirmed that a “major failure” of the server systems had paralyzed the entire infrastructure around the Microsoft console. In addition to the near-complete shutdown of the Microsoft Store, another effect is causing major problems: many games couldn’t start, for four days for some users.

Microsoft itself had ensured that the annoyance of those affected would continue to increase in recent days. The support team was already noisy on Saturday VGC informed that the problem was solved, only to come back a few hours later. The second report to clarify the issues also had to be withdrawn a short time later – a confusing statement that, of course, did not reassure people.

Playstation does it differently

The unfortunate turn of events can cause at least one thing: A lively discussion about Xbox’s online DRM policy, which prevents many single-player games from starting without a server connection. Including the team of “Does it play? that tests games to see if they work without a connection. Extensive testing showed that almost no title will launch on Xbox without a previous online check. Could that also be related to publisher requirements? According to the “Does it Play” report team, a comparison with the Playstation shows that this is clearly an Xbox problem:

“If the PlayStation servers are permanently offline tomorrow, every single player game you own will work offline almost permanently (assuming the console works and the account is linked). There’s a small group of titles that aren’t working.” Infographic Console Gaming: Xbox Series X/S overtakes PlayStation 5

Microsoft must act

The demands of many observers and those affected are clear: the most recent failures demonstrate once again that Microsoft urgently needs to rethink its DRM policy from the users’ point of view. Because it’s still hard to understand that paid single-player games downloaded to the console that doesn’t require an online connection won’t start when services are offline.