One of the big groups in the fighting game community, Team Spooky, have posted a cautionary tale to the competitive eSports world with their latest YouTube video. During a Killer Instinct tournament that the group was streaming in Queens College, New York, the tournament itself was interrupted by… the Killer Instinct game itself. The game tried–and failed–to do a digital rights management check, and because it was unable to verify proper ownership, shut itself down until it could be satisfied that the owner of the game really was playing the game. The issue here is that Killer Instinct is a downloadable title, and it makes periodic checks on the internet to confirm that the person and/or console that downloaded the software is actually using it. For the purposes of this tournament, the individual piece of Killer Instinct software in question had been downloaded to another console, and thus required a periodic check on the internet to confirm the “prime” account holder was actually playing. What happened here was that the Xbox One in question lost its internet connection during the match, and while that’s not a big deal for a local co-op game, it was enough for the Xbox One itself to patiently wait until the match was over, then default to a DRM confirmation page, leaving the tournament participants unable to continue until the issue had been resolved.
In future, this probably means that people running fighting game tournaments–especially if they are using Xbox Ones–will likely need to make sure their Internet connection is rock solid if they are using multiple guest accounts, or else make sure that each console being used is designated as an “owner” console, so that in the event that a connection drop occurs, the machine won’t interrupt gameplay because it failed to do an online DRM check. Whatever the case, this is a wake up call to both competitive gamers–and every day users–that DRM is something that can impact your gaming session when less than ideal conditions kick in.