by Paul Tassi, Contributor
Well, that didn’t last long.
Though there’s no official confirmation that the outage is tied to the Titanfall launch, it would be a fairly obvious culprit as millions of players try to access the game on launch day. Titanfall relies heavily on Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers which were going to be used to ensure something like this didn’thappen, but it appears things have gone wrong, as many expected they might.
The service outage has lasted for the better part of an hour now, and Xbox Support says that service is “Limited” right now. “Unable to sign in to Xbox Live on Xbox One?” they say, “We’re on the case to get this issue fixed as soon as possible!”
I thought I was taking crazy pills as when I was unable to play Titanfall (because there’s no offline mode, naturally), I turned to boot up Hearthstone, which has just dropped its beta badge to go officially live as of today. Now it seems Battle.net is alsodown, and the result was me resetting my internet for about twenty minutes until I figured out what was going on. I’m not sure why Hearthstone would pick today of all days to go live, nor do I know what their issue is, though I assume it’s 100% unrelated to Microsoft’s plight.
This is the problem with launching a 100% online multiplayer title like Titanfall. A game with a campaign would at least have something for players to do as they waited for Live to return, but the entire game is locked behind the online wall.
And now we see a problem with EA and Titanfall relying on Microsoft directly for server support. Now if the servers melt down, it’s not just Titanfall that’s inaccessible, it’s the entirety of Xbox Live. A problem for not only Titanfall, but Xbox One as a whole. The One is failing the digital test I talked about yesterday if this keeps up.
I suspect the server load is just too great as players are now getting home from work or school and trying to play. It’s 5PM EST, and with most schools out at 3 or 4, the service kicking out about an hour or so ago makes sense.
Nothing other than boilerplate “we’re fixing it” responses from Microsoft yet, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the situation. At least EA has someone to share the blame with this time.
Keep checking back here for updates, and I’ll post information as soon as I find it.
Update: From Respawn’s Vince Zampella: “Looks like Xbox live sign in is down currently. I hope that isn’t our fault!” Keep hoping, Vince.
Update #2: I’m hearing reports of people that have been playing through this entire outage. I guess that explains the “Limited” service interruption rather than whatever it would say otherwise. “Offline,” maybe. I’m trying to figure out if this is location-based.
Update #3: I’ve asked Microsoft PR for an ETA on service restoration, but nothing yet. As for how widespread this is, I’m not sure how to gauge it other than noting that “tweets per minute” about the outage appear to be extremely high.
Update #4: From Microsoft’s Major Nelson, who says this isn’t a Titanfall problem: “If you are having issues signing into Xbox Live, we are aware of it and actively working on the issue. This is not a #Titanfall issue.” Well that officially makes this the world’s worst coincidence, if that’s actually the case. I have my doubts their luck would be that poor, but I’ll take him at his word. Still, it’s the biggest launch of the year and Live was killed at the beginning of a peak traffic time in the US. Hardly a stretch to imagine the two are related.
Update #5 (7:50 PM EST): Well, the only update I have now is that Live is still down, and Microsoft PR said that Nelson’s tweet is the official word on the situation. I still cannot process how this is not Titanfall related, but that information will have to be sorted out when this crisis ends.
Update #6 (10:53 PM EST): Alright, it appears you can restore service using this process:
- While the console is on, press and hold the console’s Xbox button for 5 seconds.
- The console will power down.
- Wait 30 seconds, and then turn your console back on by again pressing the Xbox button.
It worked for me, and appears to be fixing the problem for many others as well. Hopefully we all can get in a few games of Titanfall before bed (lucky West Coasters). Anyway, more on this tomorrow as hopefully Microsoft will offer some sort of concrete explanation on what exactly happened here, and how it could have possibly not been Titanfall-related.