Killer Instinct Tournament Stopped by Xbox One DRM

Xbox One kicked players out of a Killer Instinct match during a tournament to ask them to prove they owned the game... while they were streaming.

Sometimes irony is simply too beautiful.  When a couple of guys got up on stage at EVO 2013 to talk about Xbox One and Killer Instinct, they received a round of boos.  The unpleasant reception was almost certainly mostly due to the console's originally planned DRM, but the memory is a stark one.  Now a fighting game tournament, a tournament featuring Killer Instinct, has found itself interrupted by that very console's DRM policies.

And it happened during a live stream of the event.

Two fighters were interrupted in the middle of their match by the Xbox One they were playing on returning to its dashboard and prompting them to prove they own the game.  This is especially problematic with Killer Instinct, since the game is digitally distributed and technically free, with individual characters being paid for.  Often it is literally not possible for consoles to be connected to the internet during tournaments, as such is entirely venue-determined and venues for these events can be difficult to find.

In fighting games, this sort of issue is a big deal.  I have personally seen people ejected from tournaments for using a wireless controller and accidentally pausing a game they were not taking part in.  Even pausing a game someone is an active part of is generally considered a forfeit, given the precision of the timing required for high-level play.

This is the kind of thing that could seriously alienate the tournament fighting game community.

This probably was not a glitch.  From all I can find, this is a relic of the DRM systems Microsoft originally wanted for the Xbox One.  It is possible they simply did not change the way they were designed for their digitally distributed games, assuming anyone downloading games to begin with would have the system connected all the time.

Hopefully the issue is one Microsoft will correct soon with a patch.  Being able to only play a given game for a limited time before the console simply shuts it down would effectively prohibit the game from becoming a tournament staple for practical reasons.  The fighting game community can be intensely loyal if treated well and listened to, but they have their limits, and Xbox One did not start off on the right foot.

Featured Columnist

Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Published Dec. 18th 2013
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah I was watching this live when that happened... it's happened at weekly tournaments as well at Super Arcade. This case though was kind of funny since they had to be out of there by 10 and Art was freaking out.

    What wasn't funny was that this was a qualifier tournament for Defend the North... which is a real major with real money on the line. If this becomes a regular problem, KI could see its tournament life cut pretty short.
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    It would also potentially signal the end of fighting tournaments even trying to use Xbox One consoles, as it would also imply that any DLC would suffer the same issues even with a physical copy of the disk.

    Fighting games without DLC are definitely not the norm nowadays.
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    heh... well its not like the KI community is very large yet since the cost of the console is so high for a 6 character incomplete game.

    It's a shame though, from everything I've seen it is really an excellent fighting game... I've been dying to get the chance to play it.
  • Federico Senence
    Featured Contributor
    Any game without DLC is not the norm these days. The trend seems to be to put out a game for $60 new and then add another $60 to $100 worth of potential add-ons via DLC to scrape up as much money as possible...then when that runs out you put out a "new" version of the game.

    I didn't realize KI would charge for extra characters - but I'm not surprised by this either.
  • Death Metal Hero
    Agreed 100% ...Looks like because of that DRM nonsense I wouldn't doubt it if everyone just switched to PS4. Even though Killer Instinct is an Xbox One exclusive >.<
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    No point holding a major for a game that will only play for X time on a given system if your venue lacks internet capability. The number of systems they'd need (all with every character unlocked) would be absurd.
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    That was actually KI's model. The game itself is a free download on Xbox One, but only with two characters. The rest have to be paid for to unlock, either individually or in bundles.
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    This problem isn't isolated to Xbox One or KI though... the de-listing of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is also a big problem. There will be no way to add Shuma or Jill to the game after the DLC is removed in a few days... so if a tournament doesn't already have that DLC, people who specialize in those characters are screwed. This is on both PS3 and 360.

Cached - article_comments_article_10846
More Killer Instinct Content
Popular in the Community