Xbox Live purged of up to 1 million users - Report

Information Week estimates Microsoft may have suspended 5% of service's subscribers for using modded Xbox 360s--which are now flooding Craigslist.

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If Information Week is to be believed, Microsoft has initiated a purge of Xbox Live that would've made Stalin's head of IT proud--had the Soviet dictator had ever had one. The magazine is reporting that the software giant has suspended as many as 1 million accounts it suspects of using modded Xbox 360 consoles to play pirated games.

Microsoft's kiss-off to as many as 1 million Xbox Live users.

"All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty, and result in a ban from Xbox Live," Microsoft told Information Week in a statement.

While the methods Microsoft used to detect the modded consoles are unclear, the scale of the purge is vast. With a total subscriber base of just over 20 million, a 1-million-user ban would drop Xbox Live's population by a full 5 percent. The mass ban also arrives during the same month that the Twitter, Last.fm, and Facebook-supporting Xbox Live fall update is expected.

GameSpot sibling site CNET noticed a side effect of the ban, which many will find amusing. Currently, some 74 modded and banned Xbox 360 consoles have been posted onto the San Francisco Bay Area edition of popular goods-and-services site Craigslist.

In a sign that the ban has indeed hit software pirates, several listings posted prior to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's November 10 launch tout the fact they come with a "burnt" copy of the game. Last week, a joint private and police investigation led to the arrest of several would-be Modern Warfare 2 pirates.

Discussion

482 comments
Freakin-Gamer
Freakin-Gamer

It still seems pirates are unstoppable. Yet buying another game goes to another CEO's pocket...not sure which is better though.

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

Delayed satisfaction is equal to money management skills. Takes serious math to count up the cost of dvds per burn, or in the case of the original xbox... no dvds bought on the soft mod and a bigger HD. It's just more economical. Still adheres to the dog eat dog mentality oh, so favored by these corporations anyhow. You live in a capitalism, you should expect people to take advantage of a back door, eh?

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

damo320
damo320

I know this may seem like an old fashioned or outlandish idea to a modder / pirate... but is it possible that if you don't have enough money to buy a game straight away you could either: a) Rent it or b) go without while you save money to then buy it? I know these are kind of radical ideas for the short attention span must have everything now types who use lack of funds as an excuse for modding their console. Learn what delayed gratification is.

wolfpackfrenzy
wolfpackfrenzy

Modding the console may not be "illegal" as in you'll get fined or go to jail. But MS may have had some fine print in their user agreement that everyone signed up for which said no modding, and since the gamers broke the user agreement they got banned.

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

@gregjblair it is a nice notion that you should not buy games unless you are financially responsible enough to be able to carry out the purchasing demands over the course of the system's life. A noble notion. And here I sit, just one of many that really felt the pressure of the economic crisis, and I would say that as much as I would love to, I simply cannot keep to that noble obligation. And it is the same way throughout the modding community I used to align myself with. Back when I fully used my old modded systems, I would buy the games if I had the resources. But circumstances are circumstances. These corporations have no pity on any who fall in that certain "caste" of people, so I don't suppose anybody who falls in that "caste" gives much thought to the obligations they made by buying the system. Besides... that cannot truly be said unless you have neglected two things: 1-you own a cd player, but have never owned a burnt cd 2-you own a dvd player, but have never owned a burnt dvd And as I highly doubt you have done either, I can comfortably say that this current debacle is no different, and the only thing that will come of it is that the modding community will return to their PC roots-leaving developers and hardware companies hurt alike. That is a double-edge blade.

gregjblair
gregjblair

i think if you cant afford the games you shouldnt buy the console......and yes i know that games are very overpriced but still...it would take too much work to change that and not enough people are willing to do it.

camilomf
camilomf

Just as a response to comments on my earlier posts (of nov12 at 8am and 8:30am PST). I wanted to bring up a fact strangely often not mentioned in these boards, which is the endemic modding found in some developing countries. And no people, I'm not speaking of ppl "starving in slums" or "living in gutters" (have you guys ever travelled?), I'm talking of the middle classes of these countries, people who save up to buy a console (don't worry about them, they're not living on the $100 minimum wages of those countries, the ppl that are definitely don't play videogames). These middle class ppl buy a console but can't afford the $100 US dollars that it cost to buy a legal game, therefore there's a pirate industry that exists to cater to them. And yes, as someone said, that'll perhaps continue to exist until a lot changes. But it does exist. And I don't blame those people for playing pirated games.

kakashi6666
kakashi6666

@faceless44 i totaly agree with u i know alot of modders and they do go out and bye the games they play wen the come out odly enough they hav all avoided the ban aswell and theres like 30 of them

GOR_TAK
GOR_TAK

What's interesting is no one talks about all the revenue modded boxes still generate on xbox live. Ok so the disc based games being pirated is a loss for MS and developers, HOWEVER I'd like to see how much money was made selling xbox live arcade content. You can't play arcade games on Live without actually having paid and DL-ed them. Also, MS will face a huge civil suit should it come to light that they just banned boxes they detected as modded rather than actually detecting pirated software being used.

drh76
drh76

I got banned from live with a modded xbox but have no modded games...strange.So everybody just do what i did go to the competition free psn games come down in price quicker and blueray best move i ever made if 1 million people turned like i have microsoft might just take heed that it was wrong to a certain extent what thay have done.

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

The same comments about how piracy hurts the individuals involved with the video-game industry could be said of the second-hand game distribution industry. Stores like Gamestop (Funcoland, EBgames, etc.) actually hurt the wholesale industry and directly influence how profit is made. This is because a used game from an individual is not the same as the money going back to the original company. Second hand game stores have eliminated themselves as middlemen, much like pirates do. But when a game company makes a rise out of that, the gamers are quick to protect their legit ability to buy games cheap. Don't ask me (or any other modder) to feel sorry for the industry... because there are even a few that have not attempted to mod a system, but burn DvD's like there's no tomorrow. Everyone else treats the enviroment around them as if it truly Dog Eat Dog, so individuals with the know-how to work the system should not be solo'd out. Hell, we all know what kind of thieves Micro$oft began as. It just feels like that rich ol' pot called me black this morning.

razasharp20
razasharp20

I actually talked to a man who works for Xbox Live about the bans. He told me Microsoft has very little concern with pirated software as they deal in hardware of Xbox. the distributors DEMANDED Microsoft do something about piracy as it was hurting their sales numbers. Microsoft actaully discovered how to detect modded systems 2 years ago very easily they just weren't concerned about it. Infinity Ward wanted to make sure there was no playing of pirated copies of COD. As much as it sucks to get banned thats the chance you took when u modded it. Shouldn't even be mad, however you look at it you were stealing. At least the console itself isn't useless u can still play your games, or just buy a new console and recover your tag (Microsoft still wants you XLive $$$). however, make no mistake if you were banned you had a modded system and thats on you, they made no mistakes with this. Oh yeah and modding your Xbox is NOT illegal! Pirating software IS WHAT'S ILLEGAL. You can tear your xbox apart and put a damn fusion reactor in it if you want, all you're doing is voiding the warranty. Downloading and burning pirated software is what's illegal

GOR_TAK
GOR_TAK

1. Modding a console is NOT illegal. Disagree? Show the me the legislation and laws that prove it is. 2. We must all adjust Microsoft's inflated sales numbers when they come out next to accommodate for their tactic of forcing people to buy xboxes to replace the ones THEY broke. But I'm sure they'll claim the 1 million boost to their sales were all "new" customers.

division_9
division_9

1 Million banned users?, nah nah nah, its 1 Million banned consoles as Microsoft wants every banned console owner to know he can still play again as long as he drops $199 into Microsfts pocket this christmas for an arcade. PERIOD. Don't believe me?, read the first line of the "Microsoft's kiss-off to as many as 1 million Xbox Live users." image and it'll clearly saiy "This console has been banned...........". NOT "Your gamertag has been banned....." You idiots really think Microsoft gives a **** about piracy?, their not out for laws or right or wrong, there out to fill their pockets with gold by forcing a million to rebuy an X360 then their going to tell you "All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty, and result in a ban from Xbox Live," so you think they have a fair and just cause, and they've allowed these cheaters to build up until now to boost Christmas sales into a sky high record, that's why they've mass banned them now instead of banning them as they found them. Its not absurd, its just good business, you don't want to believe me?, go ahead I don't care, it makes perfect sense in my mind and so I'm not challenging it.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@Chizaqui what are you talking about?? Modding aa system is just as illegal as burning games. though you may own the console there are still limitation on how much you can modify it until it becomes illegal. same law applies to other products... such as cars, houses, etc... you can actually get fined for certain moddings because it breach the rights of the developer or something. i dont know the exact details, but i do know it exist. i personally think it's BS, but that's the rules. ...but back to the actual subject.. LMAO!! i'm sorry, but it's halirous that so much people got busted for this. dont know what they expect to happen especially with how far technology has come. they are basically stealing. personally if someone was stealing from me i would want them punish, AND my profit that they stole. Dont get me wrong. i understand the whole modding and piracy thing, but they got caught.It's not a crime until you get caught... and these 1 million people just got served. tough break.

JRLennis
JRLennis

I have no problem with Microsoft cracking down on the pirates. It's long overdue. My only fear is that some innocent gamers will also be caught up in the purge. With no means of responding to a ban and defending oneself, a victim's only recourse is to buy a new system or just stay off of X-Box Live. A court battle is inevitable, and the judge will not look kindly on Microsoft's draconian measure. Customers have rights, too.

neuroboy
neuroboy

Piracy is a funny one. On the one hand I can see how people with not much money might want to play games they cannot afford. On the other I can see how it is taking money away from the talented and hard-working programmers, artists, writers, designers, producersm voice talent, mocap actors etc etc etc who make the games what they are. However, I can also see how on the one hand gaming is not a 'right' and you should expect to be banned for breaking the rules, and on the other how giant corporations like EA must trouser huge wadges of cash anyway so who cares if they miss out on some sales. I could not be bothered with modding an Xbox, but I buy most of my games cheap in the sales or pre-owned after the hype has died down. I have downloaded a few pirated PC games that I couldn't get demos for, to check them out, but I've usually ended up buying them if I felt they were worth it - I like having disks and manuals and boxes on my shelf. To summarise, I think generally piracy sucks, but I can understand it. In the case of Microsoft banning 1 million: what do you expect?

Mr_arizona
Mr_arizona

A company makes these games mostly for profit so when you steal there game they make less of a profit which will most likely mean the company will have to let staff go to make up for the cost of the game that you thought was ok to steal. You are not just stealing from a big corporation who will never notice, you are stealing from the designers, stores, and there employees who can't really afford to be out of work right now.

Sablicious
Sablicious

I'd mod... but games drop in price so quick, and with trade-ins, it hardly seems worth the cost of modding. Let alone the risk of banning/hassle of updating firmware (*the 360 is nothing without Live). Also, in AU we have a 14-day refund policy at EB Games, so you can practically play through a dud title for free! The only advantage would be getting some games before street dates imo. Having said that, my Ps2's Swap Magic still gets a workout! ^_^

Chizaqui
Chizaqui

And this is why I stopped using xbox live. As an ex-member of the modding community, I always wondered how companies could dictate to us how to use the product we purchase. And though I don't have any of my new systems modded (after two 360's red-ringed I have been sticking it out with my mod-proof PS3) I find it ridiculous that because they did not spend extra money developing a safer system, that the consumers who sought to use their product as they saw fit were condemned. I smell a lawsuit brewing-as modding the system itself is not an offense, only the pirating of the software. Personally, I want to see Micro$oft go down in flames. And that opinion was well founded before Vista.

mrmoto
mrmoto

way to go Micro$$$oft

Blargsman
Blargsman

Really, good riddance. It may leave me with less players to game against, but why would I want to play with a modder anyway?

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Of course, at the same time, they need to be careful. If they ban people who don't deserve to be banned (we know thats gonna happen), then they need to make it right.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Nice! Usually microsoft does stupid stuff, but this was a smart decision! Don't put up with any foolishness and hit em' where it hurts!

re_up
re_up

This is rediculous what about local game stores that sell the game 3-4 days early? I know people that got banned for no reason.

JunkTrap
JunkTrap

"if they are using pirated games then i have no issue with the network ban but they shouldn't be ban for modding your system, if i want to make my 360 be a George Foreman grill i should be able to. : )" Nowhere does it say you can't mod your Xbox 360... It says you shouldn't mod your xbox to play pirated games. Furthermore, if you mod your xbox, chances are you are doing it play pirated games. You are simply being banned from xbox live. I think Microsoft is doing the right thing.

JHG6784
JHG6784

if they are using pirated games then i have no issue with the network ban but they shouldn't be ban for modding your system, if i want to make my 360 be a George Foreman grill i should be able to. : )

faceless44
faceless44

@tbs Were do you get less cheaters if less modders? There willbemany people with the genuine copies that are cheats as modders. Also piracy doesnt do anything to the cost of games thats companies themselves. Take a look back in time at the SNES, they were charging in excess of £60 a game. Justify that. Somehow i dont think you can. I bet most of these games wouldnt sell so much if it wasnt for the pirates playing it, enjoying and buyin it and a lot of modders do buy the games they like to support the smaller companies. Id also like to know how many of you are actually over 18 and dont get their parents to buy the games for you. I have a daughter to support so cant afford to go out buying or even renting games, thats mainly cos i dont have the time to play, so modding is perfect for me. I also like it that most of you think that live is the most important thing on the xbox, when you get banned you can still earn achievements and the such and the games are the most important thing on it. Look at the sales of modern warfare 2 and tell me that infinity ward are gonna be caring about piracy. Earning nearly $7million in a day and probably, maybe, triple that at xmas with all the other publishers running scared and not releasing anythin till after xmas. Some of you are having a laugh, you carry on buying your games but lets see where you are when they go up to where nintendo were a few years ago with the SNES where every game is gonna cost you £60+

tbs76
tbs76

Way to go Microsoft. First of all pirating is illegal and it contributes to the rising cost of games, so honest consumers get to bare the brunt at retail. If ya dont like the game enought to justify the 50 or 60 dollar cost, then go rent it, play the heck out of it and return it. Its also nice to know that with a few less modders gone there might be a few less cheaters online as well. I hope that means alot less of them in multiplayer Gears of War. I would rather buy my games than buy my time in prison. Nuff said.

rasco2005
rasco2005

The_Last_Saiyan Yeah, Im a musician too and I still will buy a cd out of respect but if I am uncertain at all or if its Kanye West I have no problem downloading some of their stuff. I just wish everyone else would come to terms with their morality like me. But hey if anyone has the right to download anything its a musician because thanks to all of us it is impossible to blow up and make real money now. So pirate on.

torogdl
torogdl

@Exactlamento Ooohh poor companies, haha stupid, they win money even with the piracy, yes piracy it´s illegal and it´s wrong, but actually piracy don´t "hurt" companies dont worry ladie hahaha (ive never seen the poor taking care of the rich, but hey never say never...)

Doolum
Doolum

@lightleggy about that comment of mine earlier: NO i was NOT serious about what i said.If its for me i'll make those darn pirates walk the board!!!

jeffv541
jeffv541

Hahahahahahahaha that's funny because those pirates are sooo dumb that they actually got caught. They deserve to be banned because they are soooooo stupid for actually playing online with stolen software what a bunch of stupid stupid fools who have no idea what they are doing hahaha what a bunch of morons seriously I hope they get pooped on for being so stupid. Pooped on I say, right in the face and then maybe they will think twice before stealing and getting caught hahaha silly morons.

Exactlamento
Exactlamento

wow comparing microsoft to stalin... i say ban the sorry fools! I can totally get with uploading older games like ps2, psx, dreamcast, n64... sure! (my laptop is clutered with the stuff). No one cares since their so dirt old. But come on! current gen games!? Just buy the thing. These leeches are hurting game companies who could really use the cash!

unleashME
unleashME

@retroguy02 i meant with TAXES...roughly around 80 dollars (69.99) sadly live in toronto, ontario

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

only stupids got banned. surprise, surprise.... when a big title comes along, the ban hammer falls. MS must be making heaps with all these banned 360's.

RagingSilk
RagingSilk

nightshift2032, your grammar is awesome. Keep up the good work, champ.

Pickleking23
Pickleking23

modders...cheap bastards, I buy everything.

lhscouchmonster
lhscouchmonster

i usually buy games used off of amazon. modding isnt worth the time for me. the amount of time i would waste modding and getting illegal copies and burning i might as well pay $45 bucks on amazon and sell the game back for $40 a month later....

nightshift2032
nightshift2032

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nightshift2032
nightshift2032

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

I really approved this move.. it's important that the people know that piracy is illegal. I just wondering why they took so long to do this, and why do this just now..

chiggins28
chiggins28

rascoe2005, if the developers of those games could meet you, i'm sure they'd want to shank you in the throat for taking away their living. Miley cyrus? probably not.... thanks for wasting our time with a very poorly written and thought out argument.

faceless44
faceless44

I love how most of these comments are pro microsoft and nothing the other way. Lets break things down on paying uk prices, £40 a year to play online, £35-£40 for the game and then whatever on top for the dlc. So that could top £60+ for a game. How can anyone justify that? I had mine modded and got banned but i dont care much for live. There was nothin on there that really interested me. Also another way of looking at this is an invasion of privacy from MS, dont know about you but i dont like the fact that they can look at what your playing cos you dont know what else they can see on your box. This is a simple marketing ploy, notice the timin of them doing this. Its getting to xmas, they have the modern warfare 2 xbox packages out there so most of the million people that they have banned are gonna be buying more consoles to get back online meaning more money for them. You guys need to see the bigger picture

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

@ rasco2005 If you consider yourself or anyone who Pirates software a "bad Boy" and think that women like these "bad boys", please show me a woman that thinks pirating a gaming console is sexy.... That sounds just absolutley absurd to me. If you want to be a "bad boy" go get a fifth of Jack, a pack of smokes and ride around on your Harley... You might have a better chance of picking up a woman that way...

nightshift2032
nightshift2032

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

@rasco2005 I agree with you too. While I do not have a modded 360 (I do own a modded PS2, just to play legit Jap and US games unreleased in UK). Plus much of my data on my PC are of questionable sources. Now I stop downloading music and decided to buy the CDs instead.

The_Last_Saiyan
The_Last_Saiyan

@rasco2005 Will you marry me? That was brilliant. I am a legit gamer. I use the term legit because it makes more sense. But if I could pirate stuff I probably would. And I used to pirate the crap out of music. Though I don't anymore because I am a musician and stuff. Trying to respect fellow artists. But man. That was perfect.