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'Sony forced Microsoft's hand, not the internet whining', says Bleszinski

Gears of War creator weighs in on shock Xbox One DRM policy revisions

Gears of War designer and former Epic Games man Cliff Bleszinski has said it was Sony - and not "the internet whining" - that pushed Microsoft to withdraw its strict Xbox One used game DRM policies.

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Microsoft today announced the complete withdrawal of the Xbox One's controversial used game restrictions and internet requirement for online license checks once every 24 hours - policies which Bleszinski bullishly defended on multiple occasions.

The platform holder said the changes came "as a result of feedback from the Xbox community," handing vocal internet communities a victory of sorts in their backlash against the corporation's original plans. But Bleszinski says it was Sony's largely DRM-free PS4 - and not the voice of the community - which forced Microsoft into the policy changes.

"Sony forced Microsoft's hand, not the internet whining," said Bleszinski via Twitter.

The designer also commented, "At the end of the day many hardcore dislike what was attempted. You can't do well in that space with many of your core unhappy. Especially when users have a choice. The nature of capitalism encourages competition and Sony played into that."

The original DRM proposals would have brought with them the infrastructure for Microsoft to channel some of the money made from used game sales back to publishers. But with that prospect now seemingly gone, Bleszinski believes publishers will only accelerate their efforts to maximize profits using DLC, micro transactions and "tacked on multiplayer".

"Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming," he said. "You're also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket.

"You're going to see digital versions of your favorite games with added 'features' and content to lure you to digital over disc based. 'Do whatever it takes to keep that disc in that tray' is the mantra of developers in a disc based world," Bleszinski went on.

"I want *developers* who worked their asses off to see money on every copy of their game that is sold instead of Gamestop. Fuck me, right?" he commented.

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