The Rumour Mill Is A Nasty Creation And You Should Not Listen To It
A few weeks ago a rumour dropped about the next-generation Xbox which claimed that it will be always-online, among other things.
Discussion over whether the world is ready for always-online or not escalated to the point that a Microsoft employee took to Twitter to voice his opinions regarding the matter, and was subsequently fired from the company.
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
We of course maintained that if the rumours were true, Microsoft would be shooting themselves in the foot. However a new rumour has now surfaced which states almost the exact opposite, that the next-generation Xbox will function offline. Although in truth it does specify ‘single player games’ meaning it’s still entirely possible that some other games might need always-online to function.
But the thing is, these are just more questions raised without answers, just yet. And sure, that’s great if you’re the type of person who enjoys just discussing things with others and speculating over the truth, but there are people making some serious decisions based off these rumours. And why, when they’re just rumours?
The thing about rumours is, sometimes they can be true. And because of that, they are typically assumed to be inevitable rather than just somewhat possible.
Developers, publishers, manufacturers, all know this.
So let’s play two scenarios here.
1. A developer wants to prototype a product it knows will not be met with great happiness, and so it leaks a rumour regarding the product. Entirely true, but presented in the form of something to be taken with a pinch of salt. Then it simply sits back and gauges responses. Are there people defending the rumour? Is there a decent number of supporters? Is everyone properly against it? Will it succeed, should the rumours prove true? And so on. Then, based on all of this, the developer can come out and either deny or confirm those rumours, and they have zero accountability. Plausible deniability, friends. Imagine if you will, then, that Microsoft wanted to field test the response to always-online, so they leaked the rumour, watched how the community reacted, and have now decided screw it, let’s plug that hole.
2. A rival developer wants to pull off some espionage but doesn’t want to get caught, so it leaks a rumour about its rival which it knows will cause some trouble. The rumour could be entirely falsified but is believable enough that even the rival might consider it something to ponder, yet anyone with half a brain knows that it’s a bad idea and that the rival is playing with fire attempting to defend what is obviously not actually a thing. In this case, let’s think of Sony and their rivalry with Microsoft. Now what if, after the PS4 release, knowing that Microsoft was planning something, Sony released a rumour about always-online and Microsoft, instead of immediately denying the rumour, played it out to watch how the community reacted? Again, plausible deniability on both sides.
Of course, all of this is just me allowing my imagination to run free and I have no proof of any of it, I am quite honestly just posing a few scenarios that I thought interesting.
Nevertheless, regardless of what rumours currently exist, the truth will be revealed in just over two weeks from now, and surely enough a lot of people are going to have egg on their faces when their parts in the rumours prove to be unfounded. Oh, you defended the implementation of always-online and it’s not even a thing on the actual console? Well, you look like a genius, don’t you?
I cannot stress how much we should be taking rumours, shoving them into some gaping abyss and pretending they don’t exist, if for nothing else than for the sake of our collective sanity. And of course, for the job safety of Microsoft’s employees.