Will Wright praises Xbox One DRM turnaround

2 min read


While former Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski was none-too-pleased about Microsoft’s rapid DRM policy shift – convinced as he is, despite the Lamborghini he drives, that used games are the devil – former Maxis designer Will Wright is rather pleased. Mostly because it shows that these corporations are actually capable of listening to consumers, who’re getting more involved with the how games are being made.

“It was interesting watching the Microsoft thing. I thought it was very impressive how responsive Microsoft was to that,” Wright said, speaking to CNN.

“That part I think is great because that’s something that I’ve always believed in – getting the players very involved not just after the game ships, but even before and try to listen to them.”

Wright, the creator of SimCity and The Sims, seems to actually think gamers matter, and aren’t just walking wallets.

“I tend to think of the fan base, especially the hardcore fan base, as co-developers. These people with a passion for your project are going to go out and sell your game to other people and pull other people in,” he said.

“The more they feel like they have some ownership over the process and they’re not just kind of customers, the better. To see a company like Microsoft actually sit back, listen, and understand the fans and respond to them is impressive. For a company that size to be that responsive is great. These companies are the ones that obviously keep us in business and allow us to make games.”

To be honest though, I really don’t think Microsoft listened to consumers as much as they listened to retailers telling them how bad pre-order numbers were in relation to PlayStation 4 pre-sales. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter. We’ve got what we wanted, and I think that gaming will be in a better state overall as a result.

Read  Xbox One X revealed, out on November 7

Last Updated: June 26, 2013

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Hammersteyn

    You can say the the last SimCity was a Wrightoff.

  • Trevor Davies

    I was pretty surprised when they backtracked. Everything up until the point they said they would was, “you will like what we tell you to like!”

    • Argentil

      “We can’t just FLIP A SWITCH *scoff*”

      • Trevor Davies

        I believed that comment, changing something that important to their console so late in development isn’t the easiest thing.

        • Argentil

          Well, apparently it was just a software patch. Which is why Xbox One needs a day one update to remove the online check.

          • Trevor Davies

            For that yes, but it impacts a whole lot of other features (for want of a better word) further down the line I would guess.

          • Argentil

            It’s BS PR spin. Those features are available if you keep your console online. If it’s offline, they’re disabled. It’s really that simple. If games require certain features, they will be online only ie. Titanfall. If the features are optional, they will have offline modes ie. Forza 5. It’s really that simple.

          • Trevor Davies

            Yes, but they were banking on those features being available because of online, which means they have to change things up on their side. Not so much work on the hardware or software side maybe, but in terms of long-term planning, budgetting, that kind of stuff. I’m just playing devil’s advocate here 😀

          • Argentil

            From a third-party perspective, they would already be developing for a dual offline-online environment on the other platforms. From a first-party perspective, they will either enforce a compulsory online connection, or have it optional. Considering the console would allow people to play offline for 24 hours, I doubt this was a real problem for them.

          • Trevor Davies

            But for them it isn’t just a gaming console, it’s an entertainment platform, their way to control the living room. Especially with the big focus on TV & other non-gaming stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if a big part of their plan for this console revolves around data collection & targeted advertising, simultaneously knocking into Apple & Google, who they’ve always said they consider their main competition. Not being always online will probably put a dent in that.

          • Argentil

            Well, considering a Live account is required for Netflix and other streaming services, perhaps the rest of the media features will be hidden behind the same paywall. We don’t know enough at this stage.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            The only online feature kept is that whic is currently available on Xbox360 (Digital game purchases and the like) and the cloud based computing if a game wants it. Everything else has been switched off (Downloading your games anywhere, anytime even if you purchased a physical disc; sharing etc etc)

          • Argentil

            Those were really just buffers to alleviate the online requirement. Workarounds to alleviate the inconvenience consumers would be faced with. If you want those features, you should still have the option with digital, but we don’t.

            They have removed these features as a bit of an F U, they could very easily have kept all of it with digital purchases alone. The reason they have removed it all, imo, is because the family share feature wasn’t as great as it sounded, despite a press release from Aaron Green saying otherwise. I doubt MS emulate what the PS did with the 5 account sharing feature (which Sony is slowly trying to remove without losing face). They admitted to having lost a lot of money because of it.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            I wrote an article about this very thing yesterday . Posted right here on Lagz 🙂

          • Argentil

            I read your article, and it was quite thorough, but I do feel there are a few inconsistencies in Microsoft’s planning. I think that none of what they toted was finalised, and that was why the Xbox One reveal was such a jumbled disaster of misinformation. Game sharing was limited beyond having one person play the game, and having an online requirement, they just hadn’t decided how to limit it without drawing more ire.

            The ability to use a physical disk, with all of the online bonuses that came with it, was allowed BECAUSE Microsoft eliminated game sharing through the disk. Once you bought a game, it was tied to your account functioning exactly as a digital purchase, and traditional sharing was eliminated, which is why they were trying to soften the blow with workarounds. They could, technically, still allow all of these features through digital purchases. They haven’t though, which leads me to believe the offsets weren’t working out for them.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            I honestly feel Microsoft put a bunch of random ideas on a spinning wheel and randomly spun the wheel once a day to get a random idea and went with whatever it stopped on lol

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            Would make sense. 😉

    • Hammersteyn

      Like EA did with SimCity. “We will tell you how to play this and you will like it.”

      • HvR

        Having a game check in every 40 min online isn’t DRM!! No sit down and sign in!

  • Hammersteyn

    Poor XBOX, they were going to make so much money with second hand games being limited but then nobody wanted their console.

    • Argentil

      Them and Gamestop who had an exclusive trade-in partnership with MS. Used games could only be traded in at their stores, and whether they were tradeable was up to the publisher.

    • Trevor Davies

      You get a lambo, and you get a lambo, you ALL get a lambo!

  • Happy Hamster

    Cliffy is just upset because of his idiotic tweets got thrown in his face

  • He had nothing to do with that, having left Maxis in 2009

    • Kromas

      We can still blame him for the sims. They need to revive Sim Ant.

      • loftie

        While you wait for that, SimMars mod for the SimCity4!: http://www.moddb.com/mods/simmars

        • Kromas

          And while you wait for that, Kerbal Space Program. https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/

          • loftie

            I watch Robbaz playing that on his youtube channel. Looks awesome! Unfortunately I don’t have the monies for it 🙁

          • Kromas

            The trick is a credit card. And then wondering where the hell your paycheck went afterwards 😛

          • loftie

            On budget 60 months please. lol 😛

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Wish this guy was still in control of the SimCity franchise then. Would have listened about the online issue with the latest SimCity

  • RinceTheWhiskyWithIce

    This coming from DRM SimCity? Pull the other one mate!

    • Once again, he’s had nothing to do with Simcity or the Sims in about a decade. ;P

      • Skyblue

        He should still be drawn and quartered for The Sims and what mankind has had to endure.

        • Warren Ross

          My wife got into gaming by playing stuff like The Sims, and now plays almost anything.

          Sometimes it’s good to start with Harry Potter before moving onto Tolstoy…

        • Trevor Davies

          That’s a good idea, Medieval Sims. Now with real torture! trollol

      • RinceTheWhiskyWithIce

        I didn’t realise he had an official statement on the balls up of the most recent sims? Or did I miss it?

        • He’s had a lot to say abiout it, actually.

          “It was kind of like, ‘EA is the evil empire, there was a lot of ‘Let’s bash EA over it,'” Wright said. “That was basically inexcusable, that you charge somebody $60 for a game and they can’t play it. I can understand the outrage. If I was a consumer buying the game and that happened to me, I’d feel the same.”

          • RinceTheWhiskyWithIce

            Ah, I stand corrected!

          • Sir Twakkus

            Now my question is why are people like him, with common (or is it uncommon?) sense, not in management positions of gaming companies?

          • you answered your own question. they have common sense. 😉

          • Sir Twakkus

            LOL so very true!

          • Argentil

            It’s sad how disposable these creators and innovators are to corporations. I really wish creators automatically had the writes to their IPs, instead of relinquishing it to the publisher. If the publisher wanted to buy the IP off the creator, they could do so. It would give the creator a lot more leverage than already afforded. Only a minority of gamers know that the great minds behind their favourite games aren’t involved in the umpteenth sequel.

      • Unavengedavo

        I think every one should just go buy one of those R1 Chocolate Dagga Muffins and chill out 😛

        • Hondsepop

          No, let’s burn first, then go get muffins, while watching it burn.

  • OVG


  • hairyknees

    Header WIN! 😀

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