November 12, 2009

Xbox modders get locked out of Live, and then some

I heard from a podcast that described something a GameStop employee said. The employee basically said that if someone bought the high-profile Modern Warfare 2 before launch date, Microsoft would brick his/her Xbox. At the time, it sounded like a joke, but for some reason it's somewhat coming true.

Today, I saw an article in Yahoo! stating that Microsoft has initiated an Xbox banning crackdown that targeted Xbox owners who had chipped/modified units. The only thing Microsoft really did was block Xbox Live access and this leads me to note how ludicrous the reasoning behind it is. It's piracy. But what good is blocking Xbox Live when Microsoft still lets you play the pirated games anyway, just offline?

The Yahoo! article also reported that even innocent, law-abiding owners got an Xbox Live ban, but the worse thing about this screw-up is how crappy Microsoft's support people must be. The report quotes the innocent 'victim' as being waved off by support as if he were a criminal, and this is where the worst thing about anti-piracy measures comes in. Even the innocent ones aren't spared.

Hell, it's hard to know why MS targeted the Live service instead of bricking the whole thing. It's a separately paid service and I don't think you can pirate a service that you have to pay for monthly. Consequently, pirates will remain nonchalant and mostly shrug it off since their Xbox systems can still play games anyway, so it's kinda pointless all things considered.

Oh, and how about improving the way customer support treats your customers, Microsoft? They still pay legally for the online service so that's the least you can do.

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