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6:00 PM on 05.21.2013

Microsoft: Xbox One will need to go online eventually

With all of the talk of always-online requirements and the like leading up to today's event, this is the story I've been waiting to hit all day. Speaking to Kotaku about the newly-announced Xbox One, Microsoft Studios corpora...

Jordan Devore





8:00 AM on 05.08.2013

Sony 'didn't consider' always-online PS4 restrictions

Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida claims the topic of a PlayStation 4 locked down by always-on DRM restrictions never came up. While rumors of such things surround talk of the Next Xbox, Yoshida's sure to put so...

Jim Sterling

10:30 AM on 04.29.2013

Game Dev Tycoon turns piracy back on the pirates

Game Dev Tycoon has implemented an interesting little method for combating piracy. Anybody who runs a cracked version of the game will, in turn, have their virtual product pirated so they can see what it feels like. Well play...

Jim Sterling

1:30 PM on 04.26.2013

Rumor: Next Xbox DRM is up to the individual publisher

Following yesterday's talk of price points and a potential November launch for the next Xbox, Polygon has compiled the latest it's heard about the console. Sources say that yes, there will be an always-online requirement pres...

Jordan Devore

3:15 PM on 04.24.2013

Rhymedown Spectacular: Quoth The Gamer

Your ol' pals Jim and Yahtzee are back with some more poetic justice. This week, your ears can be teased with the tale of Always John and Fear's Farewell. They are poems, you see. About videogames.  Enjoy!

Jim Sterling

1:30 PM on 04.17.2013

Jim & Yahtzee's Rhymedown Spectacular!

A few months back, I was chatting with Susan Arendt over at The Escapist about doing some sort of videogame poetry. It was a very vulgar idea. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation was also mulling over a poetry-themed produ...

Jim Sterling



Ubisoft thinks audience is ready for always-on consoles photo
Ubisoft thinks audience is ready for always-on consoles
by Jim Sterling

Despite the massive outrage sparked by ex-Microsoft employee Adam Orth and his suggestions we'll have to "deal" with an always-online console, Ubisoft thinks the game buying public will be just fine with it. Responding to questions regarding a DRM-locked Next Xbox or PS4, Ubi Montreal's CEO was casually in favor. 

"Well, that's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony," said Yannis Mallat in a Guardian interview. "I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices -- I would suspect that the audience is ready."

Yallat's reasoning echoes that of Orth and other supporters of a hypothetical "always-on" console -- most electronics are online a lot, therefore it's not a problem if a home console demands a persistent Internet connection. Of course, the reality is a lot more complex than that, but industry spokespeople don't seem to like acknowledging that.  

I don't think it's even a case of whether or not the audience is ready. I don't think the game industry is ready. I don't think most countries' broadband infrastructures are ready. The practicalities of real life make this whole thing a bad idea, without needing to factor in what the audience wants ... and I don't think the audience wants it either. 

Ubisoft Montreal CEO: next-gen consoles will blur all the lines and create new ways to play [Guardian]

view full story + comments


3:00 PM on 04.08.2013

Jimquisition: Why An Always-On DRM Console Is Dumb

Just talking about an "always-on" Xbox is a really dumb idea. Hopefully not even Microsoft would be so stupid, but just in case any of the platform holders are seriously considering this awful, nasty little idea, let Jimquisition lay out the many good reasons as to why an always-on console would be utterly ludicrous. Seriously, it's ... it's terrible. Deal with it!

Jim Sterling

6:15 PM on 04.05.2013

Microsoft apologizes for 'Deal With It' statements

Following an earlier controversy of stunning proportions, Microsoft has issued an official statement concerning employee Adam Orth's public sentiment that always-on DRM haters need to just "Deal with it." The company apologiz...

Jim Sterling



Microsoft man on always-online consoles: 'Deal with it' photo
Microsoft man on always-online consoles: 'Deal with it'
by Jim Sterling

[Update: Microsoft has since apologized for Orth's statements. Deal with it.]

Rumors that the Next Xbox will be restricted by the same always-online requirement that has crippled several major PC releases of late has not exactly been met with applause from prospective customers. One man, however -- Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth -- doesn't see why anybody could have an issue with a DRM Box. 

"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console," Orth proclaimed on Twitter"Every device now is 'always on'. That's the world we live in. #dealwithit."

He followed his churlish contempt with some sarcastic false equivalence, glossing over the many stated problems with a potential always-on console to focus on a simplified -- utterly foolish -- set of comparisons.

"Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner. The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone."

view full story + comments


12:00 PM on 04.02.2013

Jimquisition: Bullshit In Sheep's Clothing

Join Jim as he celebrates the 100th episode of Jimquisition ... and complains about EA. Again. Companies (mostly EA) have started to learn they can get away with pulling their familiar stunts by giving them a new coat of pai...

Jim Sterling



EA: DRM is a failed, dead-end strategy photo
EA: DRM is a failed, dead-end strategy
by Jim Sterling

Electronic Arts may have been one of the last big wielders of SecuROM, and SimCity's online woes reek of it, but EA Labels president Frank Gibeau claims to hate DRM. According to him, such anti-piracy measures have failed, and thus had no impact on the decision to force SimCity online. 

"DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it's not a viable strategy for the gaming business," he told GI.biz. "So what we tried to do creatively is build an online service in the SimCity universe and that's what we sought to achieve. For the folks who have conspiracy theories about evil suits at EA forcing DRM down the throats of Maxis, that's not the case at all."

Gibeau went as far as to call SimCity an MMO, claiming, "You don't build an MMO because you're thinking of DRM--you're building a massively multiplayer experience, that's what you're building."

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5:00 AM on 03.19.2013

Super Meat Boy dev says DRM is more dangerous than piracy

Tommy Refenes has shown no problem speaking his mind in the past. With the SimCity situation fresh on everyone's minds, he seemed eager to share his opinion once again. Refenes wrote a well thought-out post on his person...

Brett Makedonski

5:15 PM on 03.15.2013

Subset offline mode didn't fit Maxis' vision for SimCity

After a rather eventful day of people tinkering with SimCity in order to play offline, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw has written a "straight answers" blog post addressing the game's always-on design. Those hoping for a ...

Jordan Devore



SimCity can be played offline, according to anyone but EA photo
SimCity can be played offline, according to anyone but EA
by Jim Sterling

There is mounting evidence that, despite EA Maxis' claims to the contrary, SimCity is wholly capable of being played offline -- a capability that would have saved buyers a week of hassle and tons of creativity now lost to server issues.

Let's start with what the gamers have discovered. Lately, some modding has led to a fully playable offline debug version. Fancy that!

There's a snag, of course -- this bit of hackery is unable to save or load all your progress, since EA opted to control your data on its end. Still, the game is able to be taken fully offline for an indefinite period of time, putting paid to suggestions that online play was inseparably woven into the experience. 

Interestingly, this "debug mode" of the game still syncs with EA Maxis' servers, and can at least save road placements made outside of the normal boundaries of the game.

view full story + comments


2:30 PM on 03.11.2013

Jimquisition: SimShitty

DRM is back again, and it's here to stay! Games are a service, so we're told, but who do they really serve? SimCity's failure to launch thanks to ludicrous DRM restrictions has been the hot topic of the week, and naturally there's a Jimquisition afoot to skewer Electronic Arts right in its Electronic Nads. Time to put a bit of stick about, wouldn't you say?

Jim Sterling