Cliff Blezinski Explains to Gamers Why They’re Wrong, Without Understanding why Gamers Are Right

It’s been a few days since Microsoft officially backed off and reversed their used games and lending policies with the Xbox One.  And really they didn’t have any choice, with Sony outselling them in pre-orders, a wave of negative feedback, and heavy pressure from both retailers and developers changing their stance on these controversial issues was the only way that the Xbox One could survive.  So gone are the daily Internet check-in’s.  Goodbye to the lending game limits and so long to used game restrictions.

For the most part this announcement was met with cautious enthusiasm and went a long way in restoring some of the good will that gamers had towards both the console and the company.  However not everyone was on board and decried the consumers for moving Microsoft towards what they viewed as a backwards step.  And no voice cried louder than Cliff Blezinski, formerly of Epic Games.

To be fair Blezinski wasn’t the only voice that complained about this decision there are other publications, and fans of Microsoft and the Xbox One who decided that gamers had no right to complain.  However it was his approach that ruffled feathers as it seemed to be more of an attack then an opinion.  There is no problem with telling people what you think of an issue, attacking them though isn’t going to win you any fans.

More studios WILL close and you’ll see more PC and mobile games. “@JosephHamm: So what is going to happen to all these publishers now Cliff” from @therealcliffyb

Once again he is completely entitled to his opinion despite his childish approach.  Taking to twitter to blast gamers of robbing developers of their profits by resisting Microsoft policies shows a fundamental lack of understanding in why people were so angry in the first place.  Suggesting that gamers are entitled while at the same time suggesting that developers are entitled to used game profits is ironic and hilarious at the same time.

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? from @therealcliffyb

Of course he’s not alone.  The announcement by Microsoft has launched a wave of criticism against the gamers who called for Microsoft to change their policies.  Many asked Microsoft not to give into the demand and to stand firm against the pushback.  The claim of course being that we could have had a Steam experience on the console while not noticing that that was not what we were going to get which makes me wonder if any of these people have used Steam a day in their lives.

When you buy a game on Steam, you can use it on your desktop or laptop.  And you can use Steam in an offline mode and still play single-player games without having to authenticate them daily.  Also if I ever make the decision to upgrade to Windows 8, I could still play my games on the new generation with no problems.  Something that you couldn’t do with the Xbox One but can do the Xbox 360.

Keeping track of the Steam-like experience was there ever any word on how they would price digital content?  Looking at their current circumstances, Microsoft actually charges more in many cases for games on the Xbox Marketplace then their retail counterparts.  Games that are $10-$20 at retail are still going for $40 on Xbox’s Games on Demand service.  There is just serious doubt in my mind that Microsoft would ever be in a place that could compare to the sales that Steam users frequently get.

Let’s also not forget the frequent indie developer complaints with Microsoft.  Steam allows more flexibility with game releases and allows developers to control pricing.  With large scale controversies with indie developers like Jonathon Blow is it any wonder why these developers showed support for Sony while turning away from Microsoft and the Xbox One?  Without that level of freedom, why would any indie developer deal with Microsoft?

So Cliff, if I may be so bold as to call you Cliff, it’s not that gamers were against Microsoft.  In fact I would argue that gamers were excited for some of those features and particularly excited by the attempt to go digital, it’s just that Microsoft managed to go about it the wrong way.  We were never going to get the Steam experience on the Xbox One instead we were offered a strange Microsoft copy that was less reliable, not nearly as valuable, and far more controlling.  People could accept the DRM without the constant online presence. Remember not so long ago we had a situation with two large titles that had the same scheme and gamers have long memories.  It’s obvious at this point that you don’t understand why people were upset, and you might never see things from our perspective.  Using lovely little soundbites like this however isn’t going to win you any fans either.

*Sony* forced Microsoft’s hand, not the internet whining. from @therealcliffyb

Stay classy Cliff.