Xbox Live has had a lot of problems in the first few months of 2016, and fans are starting to get fed up. This finally prompted one of Microsoft’s most consumer-facing personalities to address those concerns.
Earlier this week, fans on the Xbox One forum on the community site Reddit started a thread asking if Microsoft has “even thought about compensation” for Xbox Live’s connectivity issues. To show that they are listening, Xbox programming director and evangelist Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb took to the comment thread to confirm that he’s paying attention (via WinBeta). Xbox Live is a key piece of Microsoft’s gaming strategy. The service has a popular Gold subscriber tier that generates revenue from millions of gamers paying $60 per year or $10 per month for a membership. Microsoft has recently acknowledged how important Xbox Live engagement is by switching from sharing its Xbox hardware sales numbers to reporting how many people are on Xbox Live in its quarterly financial reports.
But with Xbox Live going down repeatedly throughout the last half of February and in early March, Microsoft is starting to look like it isn’t taking care of this core part of its business. And Microsoft almost always stays quiet following these unexpected downtimes. This has led to fans wondering if Microsoft is aware of how many people are frustrated with paying for a service that doesn’t always work. Hryb, in his take on Reddit, made it clear that he is listening — although he didn’t provide any specifics.
“I’ve taken some of the more thoughtful comments [from the Reddit thread] and shared them with a few folks on the Xbox team to make them aware of this request [for compensation],” wrote Hryb. “That’s about all I’ve got right now — but when I am back in the office, I am going to stop by and chat one-on-one with some folks about this as well.”
We’ve reached out to Microsoft to ask if this has produced anything concrete yet, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
But Microsoft is clearly aware that these issues are giving Xbox Live a poor reputation. During these outages, gamers have had no access to online multiplayer games like Destiny and Call of Duty: Black Ops III, but the problems extend beyond games that rely on a constant Internet connection. Xbox One often fails to load single-player games like Fallout 4 as well as video services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu when it can’t get onto Xbox Live. Some people even found that they couldn’t play Blu-ray movies that they own using the Xbox One because the media player was encountering connection errors.
These recent troubles even have a celebrity mascot; rapper Snoop Dogg took to his Instagram to beg Microsoft founder and former chief executive Bill Gates to fix Xbox Live.