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The Internet Is Fuming Over Xbox Making These Games Unplayable

DRM, or Digital Rights Management, has been a sticky issue in the gaming community for years, with consoles often receiving the worst implementations of the practice. While DRM protections are meant to keep digital content safe and ensure that it's used legally, it often restricts how and where players can enjoy the games they buy. In Xbox's case, DRM policies for the Series X|S have essentially made a large number of games unplayable.

Modern Vintage Gamer, a popular YouTuber, posted a video on May 25 digging into the Xbox Series X's biggest DRM problem. In the video, MVG disconnects his Xbox Series X from the internet and attempts to play a few games. However, in almost every situation, the discs and even previously-purchased digital games won't work. Instead, the console gives MVG a prompt to go back online. Even games that were backwards compatible from the Xbox One are refusing to play when the console isn't online.

The only games that seemed to fully work offline were physical discs of games specifically manufactured for the Xbox Series X|S; this doesn't include any Smart Delivery games that are made to work with both the Xbox Series X and Xbox One.

This created an understandable uproar among Xbox fans on the internet.

Fans react to the Xbox Series X DRM issue

Gaming fans took to Twitter to express their frustration.

Does It Play, a Twitter account dedicated to preserving and protecting games, highlighted a key part of MVG's video: the fact that a countless number older games have been rendered useless without an internet connection. "Talk about caring for preservation all you want, actions speak louder than words and right now Xbox is the worst platform for preservation," tweeted Does It Play. The account has argued that this situation is a ticking bomb on the level of the PS5's CMOS battery woes.

As pointed out by MVG, as time goes by, the Xbox Series X eShop will go offline just like every console has. At that point, the majority of games won't be able to be played. This not only creates a ton of waste, but it also is a problem for preservation as the games are just unplayable.

Another Twitter user angrily wrote, "[Xbox] literally did the thing they backed away from doing with [the Xbox One] at launch, but kept quiet and made it worse."

Yes, unfortunately, this isn't an entirely new issue. Back in 2018, companies like EA and Blizzard were criticized because of their connectivity requirements, too. While fans might've thought that Xbox learned its lesson the hard way from these companies or when it attempted this with the Xbox One release, history seems to be repeating itself here.