Do You Want to Play?

By: Zachery Washington

In May of 2013, Microsoft revealed the next generation console, the Xbox One. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2013, fans flocked to the console presentation when it was Microsoft’s turn. People had been waiting for the moment of revealing for months now, but they were only met by outrageous new implementations and could only feel disappointment. The presentation was a little sloppy but got the message across the Microsoft was trying to send. And it wasn’t received well. With new features being introduced such as the “Always-On” feature, the digital rights management (DRM), and a focus on live TV, core fans were left outraged by Microsoft’s new route with the next generation console.

Tons of criticism fled in at Microsoft after the presentation and the future of Xbox wasn’t looking good, but Microsoft decided to listen and do what they had to do. After receiving a copious amount of hate, changes were made to all the new policies that were unappealing to fans. The “Always-On” feature removed, the DRM fixed, and the focus shifted more towards gamers saved the Xbox One’s sales at launch. Such a risk was taken in changing these features. Consoles had already been made with these features and the labor to change them all or the money lost to dispose of them just made it even worse if the changes were to fail. Was the presentation a good method of test marketing, or a type of marketing strategy tactic using feedback?

In June of 2014, Microsoft announced its full shift in focus to core gamers. I feel as though Microsoft recognized how much of its consumers are core gamers and even though the family focus was a great idea, its just not the right decision for Xbox to make right now. So they gave the family gamers some focus for a few years and then gave the fans what they’ve been waiting for. This shift in focus is also a billion dollar risk as Microsoft is choosing one target market over the other. An advantage that Xbox has is that even if the focus is shifted to core gamers, the family gamers will still be satisfied with previously released content or future content such as Guitar Hero where a family could play as a band.

These marketing tactics seem to be very unorganized but Microsoft handled it well. With the changes to the consoles made before release in stores, Microsoft was able to regain at least a part of the fan base it lost. Since release, Xbox One sales are good, though competitor Sony’s PS4 is beating it by a significant amount. With the new announcement in shifting of focus, Microsoft seeks to bring back the full amount of core gamers it had lost and even gain new fans. Is this move the right move? Will leaving the small number of family gamers behind to focus on the core gamers be a mistake?

Source: Xbox One Article

2 thoughts on “Do You Want to Play?

  1. Chris Lantagne March 3, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Leaving family gamers behind I think is the right move for sure. Core gamers make up the bulk of the gaming population. Plus, for Xbox and Playstation there is a huge emphasis on online gaming. I haven’t played video games since I was a senior in high school (2009), but a lot of times you’d buy a game just for the online play. For example, Call of Duty 4. Nobody would play the offline story mode they would only play online. I take it families aren’t going to be playing “online”. With that said, if you focus on families you’re not just cutting out core gamers, but online play. It would be foolish to do so.


  2. Josh Peterson April 21, 2015 / 2:49 am

    Microsoft had a very rough launch announcement that continued on after the actual presentation. For those unaware then President of the Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick, made a unfavorable comment telling people if they did not like the always online function of the Xbox One they should use the previous console the Xbox 360. This created a renewed outrage of the system. Mattrick soon left Microsoft, with rumors that he was forced out. This shows how important keeping a marketing message clear and uniformed. It a smart move by Microsoft to listen to the consumer and make the changes necessary alleviate serious concerns people were having and this has show with their sales.


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