Microsoft tightens Marketplace region controls

Xbox 360 manufacturer to crack down on users downloading content intended for other countries.

345 Comments

The Xbox 360 Spring Update is almost here, and it will bring with it more than just achievement notifications and Windows Live Messenger compatibility. According to a post on the GamerScore Blog of Microsoft's global gaming marketing team, the update will also tighten the territorial controls for downloadable content on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Not all downloadable content is available in all countries. For example, the recently released Gears of War map pack is not available in Germany, while movies and TV shows from the Xbox Live Marketplace have been licensed for download only within the US. As a result, some Xbox Live users have set up dummy accounts with foreign addresses in order to access content otherwise unavailable in their home region.

After the Spring Update is applied, Porcaro said users will not be able to download region-restricted content if their account information does not match the country where they actually are. However, such users will still be able to access content intended for their current region.

"Some of our contracts and agreements with content partners, particularly in the area of entertainment, restrict in which countries we may make certain content available," explained John Porcaro, senior group manager in charge of the marketing team's community and communications. "There are a number of reasons for these restrictions, including legal rights and regulations. In addition, various countries such as Germany have regulations when it comes to what content is acceptable for distribution to their residents."

Despite those limitations, Porcaro said that Microsoft has a general policy of trying to distribute content globally but noted that it isn't always possible.

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yasirb51

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the update ONLY affected US videomarketplace i can still download demos and game stuff from any marketplace

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DeltaSpirit

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I thought M$ would have thought/fix this before the they released the 360 or territorial locked content but its something that has to be done but lets hope they won't do this with demos (which they do block in some territories like RS:V)

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theKSMM

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There are so many people screaming "Microsoft sux!" in the comments that I wonder if anybody actually read the article. It's not Microsoft's "fault." It's a response to legal obligations they have to their content providers (e.g. movie and TV studios). And if you think Sony is going to fix the issue, they won't. They'll have to abide by the same restrictions when they start offering movies and TV shows on the PlayStation Network...whenever that is.

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MrSickVisionz

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FACT: "Some of our contracts and agreements with content partners, particularly in the area of entertainment, restrict in which countries we may make certain content available," explained John Porcaro, senior group manager in charge of the marketing team's community and communications. "There are a number of reasons for these restrictions, including legal rights and regulations. In addition, various countries such as Germany have regulations when it comes to what content is acceptable for distribution to their residents."

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yasirb51

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is anyone having any problems...yet ?

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jpfondeur

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microsoft has basically sealed the fate of the 360 overseas by doing this, morons. And to think that I was considering buying one. Now I'll just wait for PS3 price cuts.

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yasirb51

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i take back everything that ive said ! :) i live in oman n i can still get US stuff n movies ! :) lets hope this doesnt mean that the lock hasnt started yet

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Irve

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surely MS could sweep this under the carpet , as long as they are seen to protect content dummy accounts could still get round restrictions I'm more PO'd that you can't buy points outside your region as market place points are about 40% cheaper in the US than in the UK and there is no reason for that .. you should be able to buy online in US dollars for the same price as peeps in the US pay .. SHAME ON MS ... SHAME !!!

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genes888

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dang, why doesn't the rest of the world get what America get's on XBL?? we would like to download TV episodes too ya know! from a Disgruntled Aussie!

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Trencher

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"ISCG I just saw this article at xboxlive.com saying that the spring update is starting june 6 << LINK REMOVED >> " Ummm thats for 2006... this is 2007...

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Mr_Zesturhouse

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@yasirb51: lol ik

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yasirb51

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wow ppl who live in america dont care !!! EXTREMELY shocking !!! (yeh right)

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ahyumifan

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i dont care since im living in america. tighten up region stronger is out of my care

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pezner

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Hey, how come almost every website for xbox 360 has advertised that the spring update is for may 7th for about a month now but today is may 8th and NOTHING! Plus those websites havnt even mentioned that it is not arriving on the set date. I mean i had to find out that it is coming out later from a FORUM for crying out loud.

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chicken_123_pie

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It's not MS's fault. It's the developer's. Didn't you read it?

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DuMichAuch64

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Great no Gears of War maps for me! Thanks Microsoft!

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FallenOneX

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They'll just find another way to get it. BTW, anyone from the military on here? Will this affect our guys stationed overseas? Technically, if you live on base, you're considered to be on "American" soil. For those that think this is a stupid argument, I can tell you've never been in the military.

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Serious

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Microsoft says SHOW ME THE MONEY!

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teluan

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ummm MS...are you telling us that you have not been able to negotiate ANYTHING for Video Marketplace outside of the US? I can certainly appreciate that a library the size of the current US Video Marketplace may take some time to negotiate given some of the licensing complexities, but surely some content is easier to negotiate than others? As a Canadian Xbox Live subscriber, I would be happier with something (a handful or movies/TV shows) than nothing at all. At least with something, you know that it will only get better and you can play around with the service. With nothing and no release schedule, you kind of feel a little shafted. Come on MS…you need to give us hope and a reason not to rush out and just invest in a Blu Ray or HD DVD drive.

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svaargod

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I think Ill just send a ton of complains after this crap!!! I mean cmon you M$ you are just messin with us!!After all isnt in your interest to have au much ppl as possible on Live??!! I AM REALLY DISSAPOINTED

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HaloArchAngel

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Get OFF THE PRAISE MICROSOFT WAGON. I love my 360 but the Digital Rights Management Set up SUCKS. If you move your game profile from one 360 to another you can only use downloaded content when on line. THAT IS TOTAL BULL CRAP I Paid for the Oblivion content, and should be able to use it on or off line. MICRO SOFT NEEDS TO WORK THIS FLAW OUT. THEY ARE FAR FROM PREFECT ON THIS ASPECT OF THEIR SYSTEM. I WILL NOT BUY A 360 ELITE TILL THEY FIX IT

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Yuck_Too

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--Shifty_Pete -- Its kind of embarassing how people like yourself don't understand it's not MS doing this, but the owners of the content being provided trying to enforce it.

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Shifty_Pete

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Its kind of embarassing how MS isn't getting the idea that this kind of stuff needs to be phased out. Region lockout, proprietary memory cards, drastically different hardware specs (HDD/no HDD) all suck. If even SONY has moved past these things, what the heck can MS be thinking?

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Pedro7_2000

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You're right the PS Store doesn't have near as good content, but they are subject to the same legal restrictions.

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STANG22GT

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This sucks...I am in Germany, but I am American (Army) stationed here. Screw them if they do, I guess they wont get anymore money from me, I already pay for the subscription (pre-paid card) but I can not add points thru my credit card, I have to buy prepaid cards from the base exchange....anyway if they do that I guess I will stick to the PS Store, I know it does not compare to marketplace, but hope that soon It will be better.

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yasirb51

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god bless Alex_Knigge for understanding what normal people other than the mighty glorious americans feel

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doughtybenjamin

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here here Alex_Knigge. couldn't put it better myself haha

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Alex_Knigge

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QUOTE from Nuttysack: "If you are being affected by this, you should be angry with your country not Microsoft. I'm sure Microsoft would love for you to buy the new GOW maps so they can profit off you, but some countries do not." ---God Bless America--- Except it has nothing to do with either countries or governents in the end. This is all about content ownership and distribution in the age of digital *restriction* management. So shub all your nationalistic ideals in your freedom hole. ---God Bless Intelligent People---

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nuttysack

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"If you are being affected by this, you should be angry with your country not Microsoft. I'm sure Microsoft would love for you to buy the new GOW maps so they can profit off you, but some countries do not." ---God Bless America---

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mugimugi

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When will we finally see complete non region coding systems? Hell I thought this was something from the pass, most contries it's also legal to bypass region coding as well so why the hell is it there? Region Coding != Copy Protection. In any event, this just sucks, and I meen REALLY sucks. as I got an US console, and live in Sweden so... YOY...................... How the heck am I supposed to download patches and so fort now? I guess I gotta need to tunnel true my friend every time I patch something in the future... gah this is horrible.

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yasirb51

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joshuahaveron : They should just let everyone download whatever they want who cares about legal implications! your my hero ! :)

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joshuahaveron

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They should just let everyone download whatever they want who cares about legal implications!

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Fafahrd

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I'm a mexican, but I open my e-mail account when I lived in Spain, a few years a go. Now I live in Mexico, but when I register on XLive, without option they sign me in as spanish. Now I have to buy micosoft points in euros, instead of pesos, so it cost me nearly twice the price my mexican friends pay. The costumer service is uncapable of help me, so they said. I hope this spring update change my ID status to mexican

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yasirb51

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is it time yet ?

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mace8704

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If you are being affected by this, you should be angry with your country not Microsoft. I'm sure Microsoft would love for you to buy the new GOW maps so they can profit off you, but some countries do not.

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kayne2000

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and so the users resort to illegal free downloading vs at least paying for it.....

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DamianMilczarek

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AceyBongos: "Hi all - thanks again for your comments. HERE IS AN IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION, particularly if you live in a non-Xbox Live country like Greece and have an Xbox Live account in another country: The new Xbox Live border controls only apply to LICENSED CONTENT. That kind of content mostly exists on the US Video Marketplace. I cannot get 100% clarification on this since today is bank holiday in the UK, but it looks like all other Marketplace content will be pretty much unaffected. That means you SHOULD still be able to access and download Marketplace content from another country - so long as it is not licensed ONLY for that country."

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Yuck_Too

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"Some of our contracts and agreements with content partners, particularly in the area of entertainment, restrict in which countries we may make certain content available," You cannot blame MS for the movie studios and other entertainment clowns who want to squeeze every dime out of us possible. Though I find it more then ammusing North America by US standards does not include Canada and Mexico...

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m-m-f

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More regulations more troubles ...

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playwrite

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well its officially been 5 seconds since this was announced, which means that people will now stop worrying and get on with their lives.

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nizammoosa

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umm the update hasent even come yet and its may 9 and well into midday in the UK

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subtec

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MSFT isn't trying screw its user base. This is a legal necessity - nothing more, nothing less.

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si_j_s

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regionalization is so lame. whatever content is available in one area should be the same in others.

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2x4b96123

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"MS is just trying to screw over North America 360 gamers who are being charged for content that is free in other countries. This is what you pay $50 a year for plus microtransactions Thankfully the region-free PS network does not have such restricted trash." if anything, MS is screwing over the North America 360 gamers least of all. I, as an Australian 360 gamer have to pay the equivalent of $500USD for my 360 premium, and i have to pay $98USD for new release 360 games. btw, this is based on the current exchange rates, $1.00AUD = $0.83 USD and theyr screwing us over more in that not only do we not get to pay for the US exclusive DLL content.. we dont even get to see it. thankgod pretty-much ALL of the actual game content is still legal over here

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MoeGreen07

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well if they just put downloadable movies in other countries then this sort of theing wouldn't have to happen

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SCORPIO_GR

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Petition for Xbox live Servers for GREECE! All Greeks on live, please post your Yes for Xbox live in Greece! PUT A NUMBER in order as you see it in the posts. << LINK REMOVED >>

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yasirb51

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lets ALL send complains after this begins ! :)

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hobbes3000

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I just downloaded my last tv show for I think will be forever, hopefully one day xbox live will be on the INTERnet as in international and not in the USAnet as in only you guys, this sucks.

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Chi-You-Man

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This is not fair, us brits pay more than the americans do and we get much less stuff, i have a US and a japanese account, if they just distributed stuff farily people would not have to create fake account to access content eveybody should be entitled to.

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Zentrixu

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I am from Germany, I Pay seven euros in the month for Gold membership and german Marketplace is empty, no Gamevideos to Gears of War,The Darkness, No Trailers of Bioshock.Its empty and no service, and after that Update you will get nothing for that money. German gouvernment sucks, they are the greatest **** the whole world will ever see, they are old filthy bastards in German Gouvernment! They should burn in Hell!!!