Xbox criticized after outage leaves fully-owned games unplayable for four days

Xbox has been criticized after leaving users unable to play games for up to four days over the past weekend.

Late last week, Xbox users around the world began to notice issues with launching games, and Xbox itself confirmed on Sunday that downloadable games on consoles were unable to launch for a wide variety of users in Europe. Earlier today on Monday, May 9, the Xbox Support Twitter account claimed that users should now no longer be facing the issues when trying to play downloaded games, but that’s not the case, as per the replies to the tweet below.

Users in Europe should no longer be encountering errors when attempting to launch games and start Cloud Gaming sessions. Thank you for all your reports, and sticking with us. 9, 2022

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This has all led to substantial criticism of Xbox’s online DRM policy. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s an online check that a game initiates when booted up, but if the game can’t connect to online services for whatever reason, then the DRM check will fail, and as such the game won’t be able to launch at all.

This is now what we’re seeing from Xbox users. Since Microsoft’s servers are apparently struggling in Europe, with outages extending over the whole of the past weekend, it’s leaving games that need a DRM check unable to launch at all. In the replies to the Xbox Support tweet above for example, one user reveals they can’t play Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, while another reveals they can’t even boot up the Xbox app through the Xbox Series X console.

It’s easy to understand why audiences around the world are being highly critical of Xbox’s DRM policy in the wake of these server difficulties. DRM checks unfortunately remain a blight for game preservation, as if Xbox ever chooses to shut down servers for its current consoles in the future, it’d unfortunately render games and apps entirely useless without the ability to perform DRM checks.

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