Xbox Online Outage Sees Microsoft's DRM Measures Criticised

Xbox Online Outage Sees Microsoft's DRM Measures Criticised

Matt Lorrigan

Xbox's digital rights management (DRM) tech has criticised by players after an hours-long outage over the weekend left many unable to access and play games they had purchased and installed.

Microsoft's servers were down for over twelve hours over Friday and Saturday, according to VGC, during which time many players were unable to access their games, even when playing online. Users who set their console as their “Home Xbox” can play games offline without the DRM measures requiring an internet connection, but anyone who hadn't triggered this setting ahead of the server downtime would have been unable to access content, despite having purchased it already.

While most of the issues were sorted by Saturday, the Xbox Support Twitter account was still posting updates as early as this Monday morning in Europe, to let players know that they would now be able to launch downloaded games and start Cloud Gaming sessions, with many users replying to say the problems had not been resolved.

This long-term outage has drawn criticism towards Xbox's DRM measures, with game developer and YouTuber ModernVintageGamer calling DRM “cancer”, and journalist Tom Warren saying that it “shouldn’t be happening”.

Were you impacted by the Xbox server outage over the weekend?

  • Microsoft DRM has never changed in the last several years lol
  • I went outside for a bit.....
  • Microsoft need to communicate better with regard to how to play offline. Every time this happens I tell my Xbox to Go Offline in the settings and the thing behaves. The biggest red flag was this when it was worse on December 25th 2015 when hackers warned they would shut down Xbox Live, they did and nobody said anything besides to Microsoft to get it together.
  • I heard plenty of people's complaints over the weekend but apart from Zombie Army 4 taking 3 or 4 tries to launch, my end was fine. Still think DRM is a pain in the butt but understand why it's there to begin with.

    Blade's tip to 'Go Offline' seems like the takeaway here.
  • It was funny for me and by that I mean totally fucking annoying. I bought movie without issues as store was up in all its glory and then couldn’t watch it for two days…

    Never was one to expect too much from MS so laughed it off. And movie was so bad it actually was…. Nah, still bad, talking about Moonfall.
  • I was wondering what was going on. I noticed issues with NOT being able to play Elder Scrolls Online, with a secondary account (for boosting), which not only has the digital license for the game, but even Game Pass (only for the month, though... it was just a buck). The only way to make it work, was to make the console the "Home" console for that account - then it was fine.

    Every time it said, "You need to be online to play this game", I kept looking at my cable modem and router, but everything was good! Crazy, that I needed to make another console a "home" console for a second account. It really make me glad I own 2 Series X consoles. It's so funny... I always thought my day one Series X looks like a subwoofer, but the Halo Infinite Series X looks like an air purifier, LOL!!
  • The few off days like this weekend can be rough in the moment, I missed it as I too was outside. But I'll take what we have when it's working. I can buy one game and play with my daughters on two systems or three systems with two games or 2 Gamepass Ultimates. Can't do that with a game disk. I would need 3. I also like I can run on my elliptical or work on school work in my office while I play Halo or Forza Horizon on the gaming PC and then switch to the gameroom to continue playing without losing a beat.
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