Xbox One DRM Crashes Killer Instinct Tournament


An Xbox One license query brought a tournament to a sudden halt – and the whole ordeal was captured on the live stream.

DRM is almost never good news for consumers. At best, it’s only a minor annoyance for legitimate customers, but at its worst… well, stuff like this happens. A qualifying tournament featuring competitive Killer Instinct was brought to a standstill when Microsoft DRM closed the game in the middle of the semifinals match and demanded a check-in. A live stream of the match on recorded the interruption, which stalled the tournament for several minutes before being resolved. You can watch it happen in the video right here, around the 6:30 mark.

The debacle occurred during a qualifying tournament for New York City’s Defend The North pro gaming event. The contestants played several rounds in the semifinals before the Xbox One abruptly closed Killer Instinct and returned to the home screen, where it prompted the users for authentication of game ownership. The players were baffled, and it took about four minutes before the game could be successfully restarted.

Presumably this issue arose because the game was being played in a different Xbox One console than it was originally registered on, though that does raise some questions about how to prevent this type of problem in the future. Microsoft ditched its initial concept of 24-hour check-in DRM, but clearly the current model isn’t exactly flexible. The query didn’t appear to give players a chance to save their game before closing it entirely, so if this particular issue crops up again, it could cost users more than just four minutes of fiddling.


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