Quantum Break Deserved A Better Publisher

The failed poster child for Microsoft’s TV/Game integration initiative

Alex Rowe
5 min readJun 18, 2024
Shawn Ashmore’s character Jack Joyce stands in a cluttered room in front of an ominous door in Quantum Break.
Shawn Ashmore doing his best “Remedy main character face” in Quantum Break. Screenshot taken by the author.

When the Xbox One console was announced by Microsoft back in 2013, it was propped up by three strategic pillars that their entire gaming community vocally loathed.

The first was that every box would include an expensive next-gen Kinect camera/sensor, making the Xbox more expensive than the slightly faster PS4. The second was mandatory online DRM that tied every single disc purchased to your unique account, and regularly “checked-in” to make sure you weren’t a nasty pirate. The third was the general idea of “Television,” with both the establishment of a production arm to make TV content, and a weird cable box passthrough inside the console to try and make you use your Xbox for all your home media needs.

Sony caused the panic deletion of the DRM idea after they announced that the PS4 would have no such arcane online requirements, but the other two ideas were too ingrained in the hardware to skip the launch. Both the Kinect and the TV concept were complete disasters for the company, ending in the ousting of gaming head Don Mattrick, and putting Xbox in a PR hole that they’ve never fully climbed back out of.

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Alex Rowe

I write about gaming, tech, music, and their industries. I have a background in video production, and I used to review games for a computer magazine.