Microsoft went about explaining its Xbox One digital marketplace model like "an elephant in a china shop," Adrian Chmielarz, co-founder of The Astronauts and former-People Can Fly creative director, has told Edge.
Chmielarz penned a piece for the magazine outlining the need to kill off the boxed retail model, and believes Microsoft had the right idea with its original Xbox One design.
"So, a company named Microsoft had this really great idea: let's accelerate the death of the box," wrote Chmielarz. "The box is a mortally wounded animal in the need of the mercy kill, and Microsoft seemed to be ready to pull the trigger.
"But, as we all know, Microsoft went about it like an elephant in a china shop. Never able to explain what that 'once per 24 hours' check is for. Never able to explain how the used game sales work. Never able to communicate with clarity and brutal honesty. There was a great vision hidden somewhere behind it all, but all that people remembered was that waving your hands or speaking loud would change a TV channel."
However, Chmielarz believes it's not just Microsoft to blame for the failure.
"Everyone is to blame," he explained. "Microsoft and its messaging (and, honestly, a couple of indefensible, puzzling Xbox One features). Gamers and their resistance to change the status quo (unable to admit that the box is doomed anyway). Journalists and their inability to stand against the masses (there were lots of click baits and fan service, and not a lot of looking forward and analysis). Developers and their silence (the exceptions were all too rare).
"We've all decided it's better to watch the dying animal's painful, slow agony than to fire the bullet. The animal will still die, there is no doubt about it. The current ecosystem is rotten to the core, and unsustainable in the long term. DLC, micro-transactions and artificial length extenders will not work forever."
He concluded: "It's just that there's going to be way more suffering along the way than there needed to be. As long as there is no one playground to focus on and experiment with, the digital revolution will keep being the digital evolution.
"We're wasting time, and nobody won anything."
Do you agree with Chmielarz that the traditional retail boxed model needs to be killed off, or is there still a place for buying games in stores?