Still Trouble After Giant Xbox Live Outage Ends

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The issue of DRM at Microsoft is on everyone’s lips as Xbox online services experienced a major outage lasting several days.

From Friday to Sunday evening, Xbox players had to deal with a significant outage. Everyone was deprived of games, whether through Cloud Gaming, Xbox Game Pass and even single-player games purchased from the Store.

A major Xbox network outage this weekend

Three days. This is the time it took Microsoft to allow players to once again access their catalog of offline games. This Friday, May 6, Xbox online services began to experience serious issues. Unable to access Xbox Cloud Gaming and purchase games while the 25 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers found themselves deprived of all features of the service. Less important consequence, video streaming services, like Disney + and Netflix were also down.

The most alarming thing about this outage is that players could no longer launch their games purchased from the Xbox Game Store, even offline. We are not talking about trying to play multiplayer titles during the outage, or even downloading them, but to launch solo games. In other words, millions of gamers have found themselves deprived of the games they own for no good reason. If some still have some problems, Xbox indicates that the outage is now resolved and that the services are working normally again.

The question of DRM at Microsoft

This major failure of the Xbox network highlights the famous problem of DRM management at Microsoft. While other consoles also experience their fair share of network issues every year, it’s still possible to run digitally purchased Switch or PlayStation games offline. At least until you do an account split on PS4 and PS5.

Where its competitors can be configured without a network, Xbox asks for a permanent mandatory connection. And this weekend’s blackout highlights the limits of such a system. What is the point of forcing players to have a constant connection to play single player games, which should however be accessible offline?

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