Microsoft Creative Director Can’t Sympathize With Always-Online Concerns

Though the Official Policy of Microsoft Corporation is not to comment on rumors surrounding the next Xbox, like for example whether it’ll require an always-online connection to function, sometimes the Corporation doesn’t need to speak to drive a point across. In response to the resurgence of the always-online rumors, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth decided to take the issue into his own hands.

Contemptuous of unhappy customers, much? It just gets better from there. UPDATE: He’s using a protected account, which prevents some of his Tweets from being embedded, though as of the time of this writing they’re still online. Mr. Orth’s Tweets will thus appear in text or image format, though you can still view them here.

He kept going with the always-online apologetics:

In response, BioWare’s Manveer Heir, gameplay designer for the upcoming Mass Effect game, retorted:

Things just escalated from there:


Now, none of this actually proves anything about Microsoft’s always-online plans – or whether there even are such plans. This is just one man, after all, speaking through an unregulated channel of his own accord, not speaking for the company. However, it is nonetheless interesting to see how passionate one of Microsoft’s own is getting over people’s opinions about a hypothetical future that definitely concerns the company he works for.

UPDATE: It’s worth mentioning that Manveer Heir says that the city vs. rural exchange should be taken as a trolling joke and not as Mr. Orth’s serious thoughts about rural areas and the people who live there.

Source: Adam Orth on Twitter via Gematsu

  • RestlessPoon

    This guy is such a tool. My internet is spotty, and if you have Comcrap, I’m sure you’re in the same boat as me. It randomly disconnects or gets unbearably slow. If my games suffered because of my internet, I don’t know what I’d do. I guess not buying the Nextbox is my only option.

    • Anthony Conner

      I’m even worse, I’ve got Frontier, (West Virginia, Morgantown) And will be /upgrading/ to comcast soon. We are SUPPOSED to have 12mbps internet but actually have like, 3? It’s crazy and unbearable sometimes.

      • BXFenns

        You think that’s bad?
        My only internet option, besides Dial-Up, is tethering my 3G phone, because it has unlimited data. And I can’t upgrade because I’ll lose the unlimited plan.

        I live in Maryland for fucks sake.

        • Bryce Nickel

          Same here, though I use a unlimited 3G modem that is grandfathered. Some us only have 3G or dial-up but luckily there is a gamer tavern nearby my place in Everett, WA, AFK Tavern. :)

  • Tensei

    Ahh Microsoft my public enemy no.1. I respect Sony because they genuinely care about gamers even if I am not their target audience. However, I have no time for Microsoft whatsoever. They almost destroyed PC gaming and their consoles brought dudebro shooters to the fore unleashing a cancerous rippling effect throughout the industry.

    I have worked with corporations that deal with Microsoft in a multitude of ways beyond gaming alone and they have such a bad rep everywhere.

    They dont care about gamers. They never have.You honestly couldnt pay me to own one of their consoles and I honestly believe the industry would be a better place if they dropped out.

    • Zach Cooper

      Sony are decent with their releases, but don’t go so far as to say they care about their customers; they’re a company and their only real concern is profit.
      Also, fps games were being released on more than just the XBox, they’re generally released on multiple platforms at the same time.
      If you don’t have time for Microsoft why are you reading about it?

  • Xrafice

    Wow, what a douche. If I were his boss, he’d have been terminated already.

  • Mitch Ellerbrock

    Looks like it’s Nintendo, Sony, and PC for me from here on out. Actually, I think I’ll be buying a Mac.

  • Mrgaful

    This guy just went full retarded or what?

  • Skinny

    This man should be fired for his willful ignorance of consumer concerns and lack of compassion. I hope he gets aids.

    • Zach Cooper

      He’s a creative director, his job isn’t to display intellect, it’s to throw stupid ideas into a fan and see what Microsoft pick up afterwards.

  • Mark Rose

    It’s over, Microsoft goes with this then PS4 will definitely get the upper hand

    • Aaron Williams

      If microsoft goes with this then it’s bound to die, simply because they’ll either need to have a huge server support every single game they release, or old games/not so popular good games will become unplayable since you wont be able to access the game data.

      Either way something will cause the death of their console, either all the “Hardcore” gamers, these being the people who are the experts or pro or w/e you want to call them. These people who are one of the main sources of income because they buy nearly every game, wouldn’t want to play on a console when it’s possible s few months later the game would be rendered unplayable.

      Another thing,if everything becomes online based, wont that cause extreme lag for the players. If every single person playing on the xbox has to send and retrieve data from the server host, being microsoft, it’ll reach a point when there’s that much data that needs to be processed that they’ll become lag issues with retrieving data. (<<<< is just a theory, but if it's correct that'll be a possibility for death of the console)

      I can probably come up with other reasons if i had the time, but unfortunately it's 6 am, i haven't gone to bed yet and i really need a piss. Hopefully microsoft don't go perma-online, otherwise they can say good-bye to at-least one customer.

      (Not like they'd loose much, i'd class myself as a mid level gamer, who has a OCD problem when it comes to gaming. Everything must be done perfectly, either using glitches to make the game more fun, or having specific amounts of certain things at certain points during the game.)

    • Ryan Lawson

      Also, I’m willing to bet they would require Live Gold (or whatever it turns into) for always on, which I don’t pay for. The last time I paid for Gold, I played three times in the final month, which is a ridiculously bad return on investment; but since I don’t pay for it now, I can’t even play Spartan Ops solo.

      The only reason I have the Box is because Halo and Gears are great exclusives, but it hasn’t even been turned on in the last two months. The 720/Durango/What’s-its-nuts is not on my radar as a purchase.

      • Mark Rose

        They may not require it but I think that this is a stradegy they’re trying to use to get more people to use Live.

        • Ryan Lawson

          Higher percentage maybe, I’m sure lots of people would drop the XBox entirely. Not sure if the numbers would raise or lower overall membership.

  • Matt McLeod

    I was under the impression that insulting and pissing off your customers and fanbase was a bad idea. Apparently new business tactics have been taught.

    • Zoey Gleen

      It was proven that pissing everyone off is actually a great tactic! Look at Mass Effect 3! :D

  • Christophe Lebreau

    Not everywhere has quality internet or some people are far away from the depot, Or you know, maybe they have a limited plan or its all they can afford. Some people don’t have a solid line and only use a 3g modem. What if you take your console to another persons house or on holidays or you move. Its’ stupid to have always on.

    • Ryan Lawson

      I was in Afghanistan for a few months, and the only TV to play on was at work. Protected internet, no outside devices allowed; I would have been PISSED if I couldn’t even use the console because of no internet. People have fucking lives that don’t fit into “the bubble,” this guy just doesn’t get it.

      Now if only PS4 gets some backwards-compatibility…

  • dsargent77

    One more reason to jump off the Microboat and hop over to Sony this time around…

    • Zach Cooper

      Depends on what games you enjoy. Gears of War isn’t a Sony title, neither is Halo (I’ve lost all faith in it, but it’s still a flagship title) and I’m sure there are others.
      And Sony still have issues.

  • Matthew Gosparini

    I’m glad Nintendo isn’t this mean to their customers. I was actually just thinking of buying a 360 but now…..

    • Zach Cooper

      Nintendo have some problems though, they’re nice to their customers but their products aren’t selling well, because they aren’t checking for interest from the right markets. They reported a substantial loss last year because of it.

  • Nicholas Hernandez

    I don see a problem with a console that’s turned on all the time. First off our phones are on pretty much 100% of the time of you can manage the battery life. If its plugged into the wall why is it so bad that its on all the time? Also yeah so what if it might need an Internet connection to operate effectively? Don’t most android and apple devices need the same thing? Without the connection they would all be just another phone. Just like if a console didn’t have Internet then all the games would be just another game and it would be just another console with local offline games. No one wants to play offline so I see no problem with requiring online connection to play. -jackx429 (or on Xbox live Noxiouspuppy390)

    • Christophe Lebreau

      How does having a connection separate them from other devices? I rarely have my 3g turned on my phone. If i need it, i turn it on.

      Its more, what about when people don’t have internet, be it a connection drop, lack of internet or you just want to play a single player game.

      • Nicholas Hernandez

        Well see your phone is just another phone until you turn on your 3G because you need it. Just like not using the Internet would make a brand new console just like a game boy, GameCube, ps1, ps2 or most of the various other devices for gaming that don’t use online gaming. If there’s no online games become much more limited and much less entertaining in the wide view of it all.

        • Christophe Lebreau

          Let me guess, you only play multiplayer shooters?

          • Nicholas Hernandez

            No, I just usually only play online games. I don’t play very many offline games at all because I crave a game that is unique. They are always much better when played with others. If I only played without Internet all the time then that would be just dreadful. I’d rather play chess against myself or go back to gbc cartridges.

            • Nicholas Hernandez

              It’s just simply that most games now are meant for online play and there are really only a small few that are recognized as good single player offline games. Skyrim for instance doesn’t need the online connection because it is single player all the time. Mine craft can go both ways and work well either way. And then as a common example shooters or nfs most wanted and the like are much much better online.

              • Christophe Lebreau

                I have near 1tb of games on my pc and roughly 30 games on my ps3. The only games I ever use the net for are Darksouls, LoL or other MOBAs or MMOs.

                The only other times I need online is when I’m specifically trying for online trophies.

                Very rarely is my internet needed.

              • Ann Pinkamena M

                This is why I liked video games before it depended entirely of going online. Granted, yes, the option of playing with playing with people online is awesome, but I honestly don’t think it’s needed to enjoy a game, unless you are one of those people who have the mindset of thinking it’s not a game unless it has online capabilities. Rarely have I ever needed to go online to fully enjoy a game. I still play Gameboy, GBC, and GBA games, even my SNES, and I enjoy the hell out of them. Even with my Wii U, I’m content with playing offline.

                That’s just my opinion though, to each their own, I guess.

            • Ron Rossman Jr

              So you’re just like adam_orth? Because *you* always play online games, what’s the big deal about requiring an always on Internet connection?

              There’s lots of reasons to not need it. Do I really need to be online if I want to play NCAA (insert sport here), madden, fps, say need for speed, etc? Hell I like playing borderlands II without others joining into my game and wouldn’t mind if it had an off-line option

              And no I’m not anti-online games. I played SOCOM from the first release and was fairly high ranked on SOCOM II and III on the PS3 (typically ranked 1500 or better in the overall online rankings) but there’s just no damn need for always on other than to act as a DRM.

              I currently take the PS2 I have I stuck the DMS 4 Pro running Toxic OS in on road trips (connected to an inverter and overhead monitor) on long road trips for the kids to play if they get cranky. Requiring an always on just wouldn’t work at all if you wanted to put it into any sort of mobile/portable style use (like family trip to grandmas who maybe does have Internet service)

        • Bryant Foster

          the ps2 has some online games and even the gamecube has one or two (If you wanna play online it should be a option not a requirement) btw most “online games” do have Singleplayer (offline) as the first option. One last thing if you think an xbox360,ps3,wii,ect without internet is the same as a gameboy you need help

        • Bread

          Read Aaron Williams comment above, he makes more massive points against it. such as: it will require EXTREME server support, games will have a “death date” (basically when microsoft says “eh, we don’t need to support this game anymore” and renders it unplayable.) Which makes that $60 or whatever the games will cost go into the crapper. Then a possible lag issue (which is expressed in Diablo 3 and SimCity…lag in single player environments as well)

          • Bread

            Also, some potential fantastic single player games (the mentioned Diablo 3 and SimCity are prime examples, as are other games) were ruined by online either by the always online or by some multiplayer aspect killing the experience because some jerk is able to jump into your game and ruin it or otherwise. Always online doesn’t always fix things, it breaks a lot of other things as well.

    • Bread

      You obviously don’t read. Yes android and apple devices are always on wireless connections but that is their purpose, to be portable…a home gaming console is not portable…and does not run on cellular coverage usually. So in turn a always on console will force a loss in consumers that are not within service of a high speed internet company or cannot afford said luxury. (though those who cant afford probably wouldn’t purchase it anyway). It also has the SImCity/Diablo 3 effect…what if internet goes down? what if the servers crash? you are now more reliant on those…for no reason. By the way…not all gamers want to play online…mainly with so many tools and idiots you have to mute to enjoy certain games.

    • Ryan Matson

      99.9% of time, Im playing offline

    • Zoey Gleen

      “No one wants to play offline”
      Are you kidding me? All of my top 10 games dont even have an online component. If youre a serious RPG player, then you know that games NEVER have to be online to be amazing. Yes there are games where online is nice, but you know what, if I wanted to hang out and talk to people while playing video games,or god forbid actually play with them, I’d take my system over to their house and play it there. Gaming is a very solo thing for me most the time, why do I want to be connected to the internet to play something that I’m doing alone?

  • Pix3l

    I move house a lot and don’t have net for occasionally a month at a time, also living in a state where the phonelines are crappy our net drops a LOT.
    I hated diablo 3 because it had to be online, microsoft is just proving to be a bigger douche than ever if they have people like this working at their companies!
    You know what i do what the nets out ? I play console games! I play on my wii or my xbox 360 which don’t constantly require the net!
    When everyone gets free internet then maybe it would be viable but i have to pay like $60 a month for decent net and i know a lot of console gamers who have no net at all. Uni students for example are stereotypically broke and can’t afford net they aren’t going to bring a big bulky console into school or the library to play the latest halo….

    I dislike a lot of games just because they are net reliant, STEAM even has an offline option! And thats a very online based thing. I hope this guy gets fired because i hate people with the attitude like that when they don’t know what net that is unreliable is like. If microsoft does this they can count me out! The other gaming companies (that arent already money grubbing scumbags) will pick up on the public’s distaste if Microsoft does do that and market towards the fact that you don’t constantly need net!

  • Nicholas Hernandez

    I just think ortho might have been offended that everyone was so opposed to being connected to the Internet to play a good game. There’s very few good offline games nowadays anyway

    • Zach Cooper

      That’s a personal opinion, and if you haven’t noticed there’s a fair amount of disagreement, because not every gamer lives in a city.
      If they make the 720 require an internet connection they’re going to get a lot of flak, that’s just the way it is, because it’s a drastic change and a stupid design choice. It’s all fine to include an always on OPTION, but making it a REQUIREMENT is like force feeding wheat-bread to a celiac.

  • Neko Cruz Molina

    I like him now.

  • TheDarkmasteryoda

    Orthy has a point though everyone is at least connected to the internet at some point. No matter what. Even if it isn’t a cell phone, or computer, or a console. Plus Sony may give you free online play, but are you not connected to the internet? Hell where I live we have multiple devices connected to one router so it makes it like I have no internet or very little access when I am on my consoles. I learned to deal with it and enjoy what I have. I see that people say they are going to go to PC gaming which is a big contradiction to what they are arguing and rumoring about, since computers are connected to the internet to even get some games. I am not trying to defend Orthy yes he is being a douche bag about responding to something he should not be. As well as I am not a Microsoft Fanatic at all I prefer Nintendo, I do own other competitors consoles. I believe they are talking about online play or for when a game or console has an update, which is how it is now. To end this people who read these articles should try to see it from all points of view and how workers for companies are getting offended about rumors that are said and posted to make you want to stay away from the companies new Systems.

    • mysterymeat3

      At some point, yeah, but not all the time. If you only had to be connected like once a month, I doubt people would be up in arms like they are now. I’m mainly a PC gamer, and I can tell you right now that I disconnect from the internet for more than 3 minutes at a time at least 3 times a month. Think of what would happen if you were playing campaign, and you lost progress because of that. Or if you were trying to play a game at peak hours, and the servers for it made that game extremely laggy (this happened a LOT with Diablo III and Sim City). Or even if a game you liked wasn’t received well or played by many people, so the servers went offline (this already happened with some EA games on the 360, but this time it would mean no single-player either).

    • Ryan Lawson

      Yes, because I love nothing more than moving to a new place, not having internet for a week, buying a game I’ve been expecting for a while (Crysis in the way back days,) and being told I need an internet connection to even install it. I’ve considered “all points of view,” and wish the developers would too. My terrible experiences with required internet for games trumps their desire to foil some piracy (which will invariably get around the always on, I’m sure.)

      As I understand it, we’re talking internet “always on” to play games, and if the net is off more than three minutes, it suspends your play. I hope they’re offended by the rumors, and run fast and far from this idea.

  • Jesus Serna

    If the PS4 is actually around 800 dollars like the rumors are saying…
    I think I’ll be over here being happy with my Wii U.

    • Christophe Lebreau

      They’re probably nerf it like they did with the ps3, sadly. I would have paid the 700 for backwards compatibility. Sadly I got stuck with a slim

  • Bryant Foster

    If the console has to be connected 24/7, that means it will have to be on 24/7, so that means if it’s anything like the first xbox360s that came out, it won’t work before you’ve had it for a year (it will break, overheat ,ect) then you have to fork over the cash for a new one? (Or if it’s not connected you can’t use the console) if you weren’t broke before you will be now lol

    • Ron Rossman Jr

      What? Always-on just means it has to be connected to launch and play the game.. Not that the Internet connection has to be on and the unit on 24/7…. Shesh

  • mysterymeat3

    I just don’t get it. This is a horrible business decision. I can’t understand how this man is IN CHARGE of anything. I mean, no matter how you justify it, the fact is that nobody likes this “feature”. And if someone doesn’t like a “feature”, then they’re going to buy something else. Thus, less people will buy the Nextbox. It’s not like trying to justify how the feature is important to the company, or hell, even the consumer is going to change their mind.

    “Oh, well, we’re trying to cut down on (the very small amount of) piracy.”
    “Okay. Well, why should I care?”

    That’s what’s going to happen. You have to add features that people want, not ones they expressly forbid. We’ll see how happy this fool is when that extra, what, like 1% of revenue he gets from eliminating (yeah right) piracy is dwarfed by the millions that they lose from people not buying the damn console.

  • Raul Gonzalez

    sounds like both microsoft and sony are racing to see who makes the shittiest console

    • Zach Cooper

      Haven’t you noticed that all the large developers are doing that?

  • Connor Hough

    Looking at all the responses to this, this guy is certainly not getting that raise. Maybe he’ll get a job…again…someday…

  • Kelvin

    Yeah…I’m fairly loyal to Xbox over Playstation, but if this is the direction that Microsoft does decide to take with the next Xbox then I will gladly buy a PS4 and say to hell with the Xbox! They should have learned from what happened with Diablo III. I suppose this is a good idea if they just want to kill off the Xbox side of the company, but that sounds like a dumb idea from a business stand point as long as it’s making them money!

    • Zach Cooper

      Why even bother with a PS4? Just get a PC and an XBox controller for it. Most games you’ll want will come out on it and while it takes a little getting used to it is totally worth it.

  • HamatoKameko

    What an enormous douche-nozzle.

  • Nathan Callaghan

    I prefer xbox over Playstation any day, but if yous go through with this It’ll be a PS4 sitting in my living room not the new gen xbox, this is a wank idea

  • Dr.Vajinyoface

    When Nintendo releases it’s Super Nintendo 3Wiicube then hands down they’ve won the great console war.

    Apart from that, no way would anyone especially a whole developing team at Microsoft would agree on a 100% online system. Sony’s PS4 is just too over the top as it is… the PS3 is still fresh and does everything and much more the average bloke would need.

    Maybe Ubuntu might want to join in the war and make some hybrid computer-gaming console with a Windows emulator like Playonlinux as it’s main focus so we could finally play Skyrim/Fallout with all the great mods and without any lag.

    You know what tl;dr the console that experiences no lag/glitches from a Bethesda game wins.

  • Saga Meow Meow

    Sorry. I do not get the drama over your low sales. Every player is now always on ps4.
    That´s the world we will game in. #dealwithit

  • Avalon

    Well, this man has just very kindly helped me decide what next gen console I’ll be getting. I thanked him in a tweet :D

  • Jamie Clabon

    good game microsoft, it was mediocre while it lasted

  • James Raskopf

    “Take it as a trolling joke.”

    Okay, then I will take it as an offense to me personally.

    :/ Trolling is no excuse for being an asshole. It is pretty much the definition of trolling.

  • Andrealee

    Sadly if it is online always, I won’t be able to get the next system. I have loved my 360 this gen, but at my house we share the internet and so my connection goes out quite a bit. It’s hard to stream even netflix at times and that was even when there was only 2 living there. I’m getting 2 new room mates so that will be 4 of us always connected online. The bandwidth just can’t handle an online always system to play. :(

  • melonlord

    god Microsoft think before you act….

  • Gordon Jigme Haight

    Just get a PC. PC + Nintendo console = da best

  • HylianBadger25

    Hmm…looks like confirmation as well as customer alientation all in one go. And with the PS4 looking to outperform (and cost as much as) high end gaming computers, I see good future sales coming for the WiiU. Also, you can’t be hating on wisconsin. :P

  • Logan Salazar

    Can Sega just return to the console market please? My Xbox was my first next gen home console and I loved it, but this is retarded. I know this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be always online, but in the long run it would be idiotic as one day the servers will be gone anyway.

  • Nevan Lowe

    I quit playing Xbox often. I was thinking about going back to Xbox, but if they do this then no.

  • Jordan D.

    Oh, hey, my town actually got mentioned XD

    Kudos to Manveer for remembering how much of the gaming population consists of college kids. There are a lot of folks here in Blacksburg, VA who end up with crappy internet due to companies like Access Media 3 holding an iron grip on the apartment complexes. Many of us can’t be online all the time simply because… well, we’re broke college students with no choice. We still want to play video games, we’d rather not just “deal with it” because you feel that your stupid online plan should be mandatory.

    Unless they somehow avoid the same problems as the train wrecks which were Sim City and Diablo III, this is going to lead to a shoddy opening for MS’s new console.

  • Matthew Rey Cassel

    I always thought that you’d have to at least empathize with people to be with a company of that caliber. Looks like I was wrong.

  • Alex Todd

    and some places in the country cant even get high speed internet to run the game correctly

  • Alex Todd

    ill be buying ps4 if this is the case