Yesterday, June 20th, 2013 is a day that will likely go down in video game history. Microsoft had done a near total reversal on their strict DRM policies for the Xbox One.
Before I explain why this is such a monumentally important event, I want to make something very clear: I was strongly against Microsoft's announced policies with the Xbox One, but what I'm about to say is in no way an attack against them. It is also in no way a means of praising Sony for essentially doing nothing. As I feel treating the consumer with a shred of decency and respect should be the standard, not something you get hailed as a hero for doing. As It's akin to trying to convince a girl you're a good person by promising you won't slip GHB into her drink when she's not looking.
This is about something much more important. It's about us, the community. Us, the consumer. Most importantly, It's about us, the gamer. Yesterday made one thing abundantly clear, we have a voice, and It's powerful. In only about a months time we pushed one of the most powerful corporations in the world to pull a complete reversal on several policies that a staggeringly large chunk of the community was adamantly against.
Ever since the current generation of hardware was revealed back in 2005 there has been a creeping issue of developers and publishers slowly trying to control the end-user experience in increasingly intrusive ways. The confirmation of required online "check-in's", DRM, and anti-used game measure for the recently announced Xbox One was finally what caused the powder keg to explode.
Well, the gaming community finally pulled a Walter Sobcheck, drew a line in the sand, and screamed "Cross this line, you do not!" (anyone who gets that reference without having to look it up friend me, because you're awesome).
Now some people, such as Cliff Bleszinski Would have you believe these changes had nothing to do with us. That Sony "forced Microsoft's hand". While this is partially true, it is also just as likely Sony would of done the same thing Microsoft attempted if the community had not be so vocally against it. Regardless of reasoning, Sony opted to put the consumer first in this issue, even if only in a small way.
People like CliffyB and other large companies that make and publish AAA titles have been trying to keep a big secret from us for a long time now. That big secret? That we are the ones with the power. That ultimately, we are the ones in control. These companies are here to cater to what WE want, not the other way around.
Yesterday was important because now we know it. We have a voice, it matters, and we need to continue to use it for the betterment of the industry and community that is dedicated to the past time we love. We need to continue to make it abundantly clear to companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and EA that they are not the ones who decide what the future of gaming will be. That privilege belongs to us.