Everything comes with some amount of risk factor but when you're a gigantic, billion-dollar company then those risks can be great. People rely on you, both employees and consumers, and so you need to take measured and well considered steps. Then again, nobody ever got anywhere playing it totally safe...
Some risks are worth the reward, others come back to bite you big time.
A little while back, we looked at some of the risks that Sony has taken with the PlayStation brand that have not been worth the effort. Well, it only seems fair to look on the other side of the battle lines.
Out of the "big 3" studios in console gaming, Microsoft is the one that has been in the game the least amount of time but they've seen it all in their first 20+ years. Massive success with their own property, innovative moves that have changed the industry, and of course things that have blown up in their face.
In this list we'll highlight some choices and chances Microsoft's Xbox took that really didn't work out as intended.
8. Xbox One's DRM
Putting it lightly, the Xbox One's launch was kind of a disaster, and we'll certainly get into that more across this list. For now, let's start with one of the kickers. Before the console was ever even revealed, leaks began to spring from the internet that Xbox's new console was going to be "always online".
The world of today still isn't ready for such a concept so in 2013 there were immediate concerns. Furthermore, Xbox's team did very little to explain how it would work and why it was necessary, prompting gamers to understandably call it corporate greed.
In the following months, it was confirmed that the Xbox One would connect to the internet every 24 hours to basically make sure you were the one true owner of a game. Not only did you have to be always connected, newly bought games would be associated with a specific Xbox Live account. If anyone else in your home wanted to play it on their own profile, they would have to pay a fee for the privilege.
This meant rental and resale were not quite out of the question but an absolutely unattractive proposition. At E3 that year, PlayStation snuck in a series of knockout punches by saying that the PS4 would not impose any of these restrictions, to one of the happiest crowd responses in E3 history - simply for doing what Microsoft wasn't.
Adam Orth, creative director of Microsoft Studios told gamers to "deal with it" in a tweet, and Don Mattrick, with all the sass of a high school mean girl, remarked to the media:
"We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called the Xbox 360."
Both men were very quickly out of the door when Microsoft's higher-ups conceded. Ten days on from E3, a statement explained they were walking back these ideas in what is often called the Xbox 180. The damage, however, had been done.