When Microsoft reversed their incredibly unpopular DRM plans for the Xbox One, the internet mostly exploded with happiness. However, as a result of the decision, Microsoft also — for reasons known only to them — decided to remove features that had intrigued some of their fans and potential consumers.
Microsoft’s Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten had an interview at IGN, where he suggested that the company may decide to bring back those features to the Xbox One. There was a petition online asking Microsoft to restore features like the family sharing plan. The family sharing plan would let players authorize multiple Xbox accounts to play their games, however it’s also important to note that the feature was rumored to be limited and the lent games could not be played in full. But in another twist, Microsoft did deny this stating that it was false and there were no limitations to the feature.
Still, Marc Whitten has acknowledged the company’s poor messaging during the height of the Xbox One controversy, though he himself declined to clear up any specifics on what programs would be brought back.
“If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back,” Whitten said.
He continued on in the interview in an attempt to dispel the rumor that Microsoft removed the features out of spite during the consumer backlash. Instead he insists that the features had to be removed for practicality:
“We took some feedback and realized there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’”
Concerning the Family Sharing Plan removal, I may admit that I have made that accusation in the past. I did see the removal as Microsoft trying to punish fans during a Leviathyn debate. But as for its potential return, I honestly do not believe that we’ll be seeing it anytime soon. Certainly not at launch. Of course, Microsoft could prove me wrong.