1 Million Old Xbox Live Gamertags Being Freed Up, Here's How to Get One

Get a new name.

58 Comments

Tired of your current Xbox Live gamertag? You're in luck, as Microsoft today announced that it will "release" almost one million gamertags later this week, and you may be able to pick one up.

On Wednesday, May 18, any Xbox Live Gold member who has accrued a year's worth of Gold status since 2002 can acquire one of the new gamertags. They come from original Xbox accounts that were later abandoned.

No Caption Provided

"As a result, they have been inactive for quite some time," Microsoft said in a blog post.

The first wave of released gamertags will be made available starting at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST on May 18. The gamertags won't be released all at once, but instead over a period of 24 hours "to give our fans in various countries an equal chance to get one."

You can pick up one of the new gamertags from Xbox.com, inside the Xbox App on Windows 10, or through an Xbox One. Access to the new gamertags will not be made available on the Xbox 360 console, but you can grab one from Xbox.com or Windows 10.

This is the Xbox.com page you will want to bookmark.

You can change your gamertag once for free, but after that, there is a fee. The length of your Gold tenure is displayed on the Profile page on Xbox One or in the Xbox App on Windows 10. Note, too, that changing your gamertag doesn't reset your profile, as all of your achievements and friends will remain intact.

Microsoft is not going to publish the list of gamertags, but the company says there will be "many great" ones available in categories including:

  • Proper names
  • Pop-culture references (entertainment, sports, gaming)
  • Types of food
  • Geography and travel
  • Science and technology
  • Math and numbers
  • Animals
  • Some of the greatest inventions of all time

Microsoft also released a wave of gamertags back in 2011.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for borkgordon
borkgordon

I can wait to claim the Deez nuts gamertag

Avatar image for novaprime1985
NovaPrime1985

@borkgordon: i had a varient of DeezNutzzz before, be prepared for butthurt ppl that will report you every other day for it

Avatar image for borkgordon
borkgordon

@novaprime1985: I used to have TeaBag Express but that one got banned on me years ago.

Avatar image for Evenios
Evenios

heh mine will prob be in there. i havent used xbox live in years. lol

Avatar image for Alurit
Alurit

@Evenios: only if you haven't logged in like 10 years, as they are handing out gamertags from original xbox acc's.

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Oh good! Maybe I can get xXGamespotSuxAtGameNews69xX

Avatar image for your_real_dad_
Your_Real_Dad_

Im one of the biggest anti xbox guys there is but i applaud microsoft on their online infrastructure. Sonys cheap made in china database cant achieve a simple name change. No vitamins in the rice.

Avatar image for reverse_crash
reverse_crash

Someone please take "OxyClean". I used to play with him in Halo 2 till he passed from cancer. The brand name label must live

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

I wonder how many of them are dead.

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Heh -- 2002 was so long ago that there's no WAY people are still interested in pop-culture references of that time period!

Let's see... https://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist2002.html

Oh, I see. Some things never go away.

<vomit>

Avatar image for lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

*keeps fingers crossed for gamertag:

PhilSpencer

Avatar image for alaannn
alaannn

what happens if someone doesnt play much online on xbox what happens to the gamer tag

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@alaannn: These are original Xbox tags. Pretty sure you're safe if you've played an Xbox One or 360 recently.

Avatar image for iammcgruber
IAmMcGruber

@alaannn: I'm sure they haven't been online in like 5+years for them to do this.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Wonder how much money they make on $10 name-changes each year...

Avatar image for sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

@Ripper_TV: First time you can change for free. How much is Sonys?

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@sleepnsurf: Why should u even bring the other player into the picture all the time... it's not about who's better.

Avatar image for Alurit
Alurit

@Ripper_TV: by the sound of it, it could be a genuine question from someone that doesn't actually know. (probably not though)

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@Ripper_TV: They don't charge money to profit on this... Even if 5000 users change their tags (more than once) each year, that would only be $25,000 @ $5 each.

They do it to prevent rampant abusers from continuously changing their tag to continue getting away with it. Charging a small nominal fee is a deterrent to only but the most committed abusers.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@Pyrosa: I agree that they do that not to earn money, but to prevent abuse, but still interested in the number, as I feel it's quite a nice round number for them.

First, it's $10, not $5. Second, what 5K users are you talking about? Their active XBL base is over 50 million users, you seriously think that only 0.01% of that base change their name each year?

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

@Pyrosa: Funny thing is I know multiple people that change their name almost monthly, it's crazy.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

What a ridiculous idea. They basically just take the accounts of the people WHO HAVEN'T LOGIN for a long time and give them away. New low.

You should be able to login, if you haven't been to your account in 100 years! That's the definition of a RELIABLE service.

Avatar image for Attitude2000
Attitude2000

@Ripper_TV: You can, you just need a new username.

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@Attitude2000: That's something, thanks for letting me know. What is the timelimit?

Avatar image for Attitude2000
Attitude2000

@Ripper_TV: it may be indefinitely. I used to have MSN dial-up and one day just decided to log in to it and it still was there ( I had to password recovery, though).

Avatar image for moonco
Moonco

My gamertag used to be "XboxSucks" before I was banned from Live

Moderator
Avatar image for sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

@Moonco: Mine was "PlayStationRLZ" because I only got it when PSN went down for two weeks. I had to call customer service for something and they asked my username, so I just spelled it out and the guy giggled and went "Is it really PlayStation rules?" nothing happened though lol

Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@Moonco: Great one. Banned for the name or some else?

Avatar image for moonco
Moonco

@Ripper_TV: The name. MS gave me the opportunity to change my gamertag for free but I refused so the ban hammer came down lol

Moderator
Avatar image for Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@Moonco: Guess they don't have a sense of humor about themselves. That really sucks. By banning you they've just acknowledged your statement. Idiots.

Avatar image for bobafetthatesu
BobaFettHatesU

@Moonco: They wanted to be sure the name stood for something.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@Moonco: I wanted to do PlaystationSucks on PS4 but it wouldn't let me use it.

Avatar image for ixilion
Ixilion

It would suck if some of those old names belong to former Achievement Hunters...at least my brother can rest easy knowing that no one will bother to take his original unique GT that he created as a wee little 12 year old laddie.

Avatar image for Ant_17
Ant_17

Sh*t, going to loose about 5 GTs cause i don't remember the e-mails and passes tied to them.

Avatar image for jimmydonegood
jimmydonegood

Mine will be PSNcantdonamechange. lol

Avatar image for BigPrimeNumbers
BigPrimeNumbers

Holy canoli I can change my PSN ID finally?! Wait, did you say something about Xbox there?

Avatar image for artemis-v
Artemis-V

I don't mind my current GT. (Variation of my screen name here and across several sites) I just wish Sony would allow me to change my old PSN name already.

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

No thank you, I tried to match my GT to my Gamespot's name and I'm keeping it that way. The only, only thing I want to change is my freaking PSN name. Damn Sony, why don't you let us change our names?

Avatar image for artemis-v
Artemis-V

@davillain-: My thoughts exactly.

Avatar image for bobafetthatesu
BobaFettHatesU

Accounts now available that were once rendered inactive through systematic and harassing banning tactics to get more people to buy new live accounts.

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