Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft


Xbox console ban is ‘permanent’


Thousands of Xbox 360 owners who have been cut off from Microsoft’s Xbox Live service will have to buy a new console if they want to play online again.

Microsoft told BBC News that banned machines will be permanently barred and “unable to connect to Xbox Live”.

A message displayed on affected consoles said there was “no recourse for terms of use violations”.

Microsoft has barred as many as 1m gamers from Xbox live for modifying their consoles to play pirated games.

“Users of banned Xbox consoles can recover their profile to another, unmodified Xbox 360 console to resume their Live service,” the firm told BBC News.

“The banned console will be unable to connect to Xbox Live.”

However, modified consoles will still work offline.

‘No recourse’

Microsoft said barring gamers was part of an ongoing drive to curb piracy.

But a statement from them suggests this latest wave was timed to prevent people from playing pirated versions of the widely-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many

“We can assure you that if an Xbox Live member follows the Xbox Live terms of use, purchased a retail copy of Modern Warfare 2 and played the game on an unmodified Xbox 360, no action will be taken,” the firm said.

Microsoft said that it had banned a “small percentage” of the 20 million Xbox Live users worldwide.

Many gamers modify their consoles by installing new chips or software that allows them to run unofficial – but not always illegal – programs and games.

Some BBC News website readers claimed that they had “modded” their consoles to allow them to make back-ups of games that they had already bought.

“Discs are very fragile things and some users like to have their games backed up,” said Donald Glass of Aberdeen.

“After all you will have paid £40 for a new disc. It is my opinion that once you buy a disc you should be allowed to do whatever you want with the media as long as you do not break copyright laws.”

Microsoft has not said how it was able to determine which gamers to disconnect.

“We do not reveal specifics, but can say that all consoles have been verified to have violated the terms of use,” the firm said in a statement.

It said that gamers who had been barred were using their modified consoles to “play illegally pirated games”.

“We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many”.

Industry figures suggest that piracy may cost the video game industry as much as £750m a year.

Reports have speculated that new “mods” could soon be on the market that allow gamers to get round the blocks.


Brash Recruits Lair Devs for Another Movie Game


Brash has recruited Lair developer Factor 5 for a game based on a movie IP. The project is currently top secret with plans for a big reveal at E3 2008. Factor 5 co-founder and president Julian Eggebrecht is highly optimistic about the project despite film-games having earned a bad reputation “because the filmmaker is a game fan who is really excited about how we want to expand on the story of the film, we’ve been given a lot of latitude.” Brash already has a Saw video game franchise in the works, and has just signed a deal with Folklore dev, Game Republic for another undisclosed movie game project


Microsoft Doesn’t Care About UT3 Master Chief Mod


You might think that Microsoft’s lawyers are moving quickly to rob every penny from the individual responsible for creating the Master Chief character model in Unreal Tournament 3, but you’d be wrong. As it turns out, what serves as an homage to the Halo series is being treated just as that – not as an act of copyright infringement.

A Microsoft attorney that goes by the alias “DonkeyXote” writes on his Windows Live blog:

Many people are talking about the Master Chief mod for Unreal Tournament 3, that allows you to play in the character of the Master Chief on the PS3. Many people are surprised Microsoft is “allowing” this.Actually it’s nothing more than the Game Content Usage Rules in action. When these were developed, people all thought they were focused on machinima. The truth is that while they do address machinima they also allow for a lot of other things. Mods like this are one of them. The developers aren’t selling the mod, they’re not monetizing Microsoft’s IP, they’re just creating something to share their love of the Master Chief on a new platform. It’s a great thing for us and a great thing for the gaming community. And much though I love my friends at Epic, Unreal Tournament isn’t Halo. This will also remind people of just how great the Halo games are and remind them that if they’re done with the user-created faux-Halo experience, the real Halo is available only on the Xbox 360. And no one is taking characters from PlayStation games (do they even have any games?) and putting them on our platform…

Aside from the annoyingly anti-Sony, Halo-is-the-best-thing-ever sentiment that he has, I’m glad to see Microsoft isn’t seeking to put a stop to this. One has t wonder what Microsoft would do if Halo levels were replicated in UT3, which seems like more of a “when” rather than an “if.” Writing that, I feel as if I’m about to be barraged with links to different Halo-inspired UT3 maps.


Rumor: Microsoft to Buy Epic Games


if nothing else, this rumor will give your eyebrows a workout as they rise up when it’s suggested that Microsoft is poised to purchase Epic Games. This rumor is being reported on by GamePro, according to, and suggests that the price would be a cool $1 billion. Epic is of course the developer of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, as well as the oft-used Unreal Engine.

While Epic as a company has yet to respond to the rumors officially, VP Mark Rein sent an email response to develop, stating, “I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they’re going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion.” What makes $2 billion the magic number?  Rein said, “Because we don’t want anyone thinking that we’re cheap. :)”

Rein’s sarcasm aside, we can’t really shoot down this rumor outright – Microsoft Game Studios have seen quite a few defections recently, and it seems quite clear that Microsoft needs to somehow bolster its first party lineup. Ensuring that Gears of War remains exclusive to the 360 (and PC) doesn’t seem like a bad way of doing just that.