If you’ve bought workout videos to use with Xbox Fitness, better get those squats and lunges in now: Microsoft announced it’ll be phasing out the app over the next year, ticking off customers who paid for content in the process.
For those unfamiliar, Xbox Fitness was launched in 2013 along with the Xbox One console as a Kinect-linked app that could, effectively, watch users as they exercised and evaluate their performance. It came with a slew of free titles for users with Microsoft Live Gold accounts, as well as content that could be purchased upfront.
Microsoft said this week (h/t Ars Technica) that Xbox Fitness will be no more, but it didn’t announce any kind of compensation program for users who won’t be able to access their purchased content when the sunsetting process is complete.
“Given the service relies on providing you with new and exciting content regularly, Microsoft has given much consideration to the reality of updating the service regularly in order to sustain it,” Microsoft’s Erica Bell wrote in the announcement. “Therefore, the decision has been made to scale back our support for Xbox Fitness over the next year… While our team is saddened by this news, we couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past two and a half years.”
The process is already underway, as Xbox Fitness content has been unavailable for purchase since Monday. The next change will come Dec. 15, 2016, when Gold subscribers will no longer have access to the “Free with Gold” offer that included 30+ workouts available to stream. And in yet another example of the reality of buying something you can’t actually hold, only to find it unusable one day, on July 1, 2017, Xbox Fitness “(and all associated content) will no longer be available for download/play.”
“This includes content you’ve purchased,” Microsoft clarifies. “At that time, Xbox Fitness will no longer be available for download from Xbox Marketplace and content will not be available for play from the Xbox Marketplace nor within the game. Xbox Fitness users will no longer be able access Xbox Fitness and the associated workouts/programs.”
Users are not happy, to say the least, expressing their frustrations on the sunsetting announcement page itself, as well as elsewhere online like Reddit.
“I bought 140$+ worth of content just this year… …I don’t want a refund, I want to be able to continue to use what I PAID for !!!!!!!!!!!” one user wrote.
“Come on Microsoft, play it fair,” said another. “Either let us download and use our purchased XBOX Fitness content forever or refund all the purchases. Who is going to trust content providers now and make online purchases as opposed to physical media e.g. book, DVD, BluRay that you’ve got to keep and use forever?”
“This really bothers me,” a Redditor wrote. “I get so much good use out of Xbox Fitness and it’s become a staple of my week. Hopefully they do something to make up for the non-usable software.”
“Good ‘ol Microsoft. Come out with something that differentiates itself from the competition, then scrap it (Kinect and now Xbox Fitness),” another said. “Really makes me think twice before buying any peripheral from them in the future.”
We’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if the company has any plans for compensating customers for their purchased Xbox Fitness content.
“Apologetically, we do not have any further details to share at this time,” a spokesperson told Consumerist, echoing the company’s post by reiterating that “this was not an easy decision. We’re communicating the decision to scale back support over the next year in order to give the Xbox Fitness community advance notice to these changes.