No, Xbox One DRM isn’t killing Killer Instinct

2 min read


I’ve seen a number of worrying reports that Xbox One’s DRM is actually still there, and has been causing issues with Killer Instinct tournaments. It is however, a problem that’s being misreported. Xbox One DRM isn’t killing Killer Instinct.

Here’s what happened.

A recent Killer Instinct tournament was brought to a grinding halt when the Xbox One the game was being played on came up with a message:

“Do you own this game or app?”

“If you have a game disc, insert it now. If there is no disc, make sure you are signed into Xbox Live. If you don’t have rights for playing it, you’ll need to buy it at the Xbox Store.”

The game needed to check in. That sounds awfully like the DRM Microsoft said wouldn’t be in the Xbox One after its 180 degree turnabout. On the surface, it seems a bit worrying – but in truth, this whole debacle is a bit of a non-story.

Yes, it’s DRM, but it’s the same sort of DRM that you’ll find on the Xbox 360 right now. Or the PS3, or PS4 for that matter. The Xbox One in question here, was not the one originally used to download the game, you see. If it were, the game would have been tied to that console’s ID (and the originating profile), and would never need to check for licences, functioning just fine without an internet connection. It’s actually more lax DRM than on the 360, which requires that the original purchaser be actively signed in for the game to be playable.

What it seems to be, is a case of the tournament organisers downloading the game to multiple consoles from a few originating profiles – and then not making sure that the consoles had authenticated the game for use in time. If each console playing the game had bought the game’s Season Pass (to get all the characters) then it wouldn’t have happened.

Last Updated: December 18, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. 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.

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