Major Nelson Speaks on Banning Pirates From Xbox Live


Microsoft’s Major Nelson addressed the issue of banning software pirates from Xbox Live in a recent blog post. The man also known as Larry the Marketing Guy said:

The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive from manufacturers, retailers, and the third parties that support them. This would also be a good time to remind you that the warranty on an Xbox 360 console is not transferrable and if you purchase a used console that has been previously banned, you will not be able to connect to Xbox Live.

While I have no problem with what Microsoft is doing and I agree with most of that Larry said, it still bugs me that console games in third-world countries have Western prices. Having lived in a third-world country for most of 2006, I was surprised to see that most games cost the equivalent of $50 to $60 while people were making $150 a month. For a lot of people, piracy was the only reasonable way to go.

My little rant aside, what do you think of Microsoft banning pirates from Xbox Live?


Author: RPadTV

32 thoughts on “Major Nelson Speaks on Banning Pirates From Xbox Live”

  1. I think banning pirates is pretty necessary. I'm surprised that so many pirates are trying to log in to Xbox live with a modded system. not that I'd recommend it to anyone but if I did have a system that played pirated discs it wouldn't be associated with my live account in any way.

    of course, that means no updates, no multiplayer, and so on. I guess it must be nice for them to save money but it comes at quite a risk if they want to go online

    I think the third world debate is another one entirely. one that involves all gaming products and consumer electronics.

  2. @Shockwave562 You're correct about the third-world debate being a different argument, but it is related. Some (but certainly not all) developers have no idea what costs are like in third-world countries and go on rants about how these people are hurting their business. I've asked a few if they knew what an average salary was like in Thailand or the Philippines and they had no idea.

  3. There ARRRRR several ways ARRRRRound it, actually. I have a few friends on live who ARRRRR on pirated systems and don't get messed with.

    I see the point about 3rd world countries too.

  4. That's a good point Ray. Even if they sold the games for a little less in some countries it would be better than not selling any copies. Excuses are thin for pirates in the states though

  5. @N8R – I know how hackers tend to stay one step ahead of updates. It's a pretty big risk to take. Funny how I'm more afraid of being banned from xbox live than I am at criminal charges for pirating

  6. This has been going on forever. Why now? Why did they wait this long to do something about this? Why turn a blind eye for all of these years and ban everybody all of a sudden? In the words of Arsenio Hall, "things that make you go hmmmmmmm".

  7. Was that Arsenio? I thought that was C&C Music Factory. Or maybe they just did the song. Whoop Whoop Whoop Whoop!

  8. @RROD – to my understanding the banning is continual, it's nice they are finally cracking down more. many people who were stupid enough to log in to live while playing a pirated game could have been banned years ago

  9. I'm thinking that if in the 3rd world they're spending their money (any money) on video games and not real world necessities, I don't feel a lot of sympathy for them getting banned. These companies put a lot of money into making these games and deserve to get paid for that.

  10. @Nightshade

    Spoken like a true American. You do realize that the value of currency and cost of living differs in every country, right? Most things don't cost the same across the world.

  11. @RROD – timing does seem suspect. between that and the Memory unit thing it seems like they are really trying to take control of this problem but I don't know if there's any ulterior motives

  12. @Shockwave

    What happens when a gamer's modded Xbox is banned and he wants to continue to enjoy the Xbox and it's games? What does he or she have to do?

  13. to my understanding it's not the Xbox alone that gets banned. you also get banned personally from having a live account ever. pretty serious

  14. I can't imagine I'd have any use for a 360 if I couldn't get on Xbox live. I guess if you did it under a new name or something you could get around it somehow. but you might need a new credit card too

  15. @Shockwave

    1. I thought you said you barely played online so how would your Xbox be useless without XBL?

    2. So basically, if you get banned you have to BUY another Xbox right?

  16. you're not thinking of far reaching consequences RROD, you're banned from Silver and Gold. No updates or nothing.

    I can't see a need for a second Xbox if you couldn't connect it to the internet. free or paid. probably a good time to switch to ps3

  17. @Shockwave

    But if you buy a new Xbox wouldn't you be able to create a new XBL account with a different name and maybe a different credit card?

  18. Like I said there are probably ways around it but I think it would be a pain. Not something I would risk personally because of the hassle of getting caught.

    I see what you're saying though, but after stealing games from hard working developers the least these hackers can do is buy a new system. I think criminal charges should be filed against anyone caught on Live with pirated games

  19. @Shockwave

    Let me make one thing clear, I don't condone piracy but at the same time I don't see it as a big deal. I don't think charges should be filed. Pirating games is no different from retailers selling them used, either way the developer won't see a penny from it. And judging by the final product of these games I would say that there's only a hand full of "hard working developers" out there. Why should people pay $60 for Uncharted 2 quality but have to pay the same $60 for Section 8 quality but that's another topic for another day. I'm just wondering why M$ waited so long to do something about it Why now? Also, why is this not a problem for the PS3 and Wii? Couldn't MS have prevented this in the first place……….if they wanted too?

  20. @RROD – Pirating is no different from retailers selling them used? A TV I sell on Craig's list doesn't earn Sony any money. is that the same thing as Breaking in to Best Buy and taking one?

    obviously it has been a problem from the start with the Xbox mods. Hackers tend to stay one step ahead of preventative measures. Apple tries to keep up with hackers on the iPhone too but they are a plenty. I don't see what the big deal is with banning these people now, yesterday or 2 years from now. so long as they're doing it

  21. If a game isn't worth $60 bucks I won't play it. that developer hasn't earned my money but I'm not about to start stealing their product because I don't feel it's worth that much

  22. @Shockwave

    Sure, when it comes to piracy and used game sales, one is illegal but the developer won't get a dime from either is the point I was making. I think that MS knows these people will be forced to buy new Xbox 360s at a time when after beating Sony in consoles sales for a whole year they are not beating Sony now and it don't look like they'll beat Sony again any time soon. I looks like the tide if shifting and the PS3 is the new "it" console now. Call me crazy but it looks like that has something to do with it because the piracy has been going on for years and they didn't care but now all of a sudden MS wants to ban everybody. That's no coincidence.

  23. @Shockwave

    You don't pay the same price for a Ford Focus as you would a Lincoln Navigator.

  24. @RROD – I am all for different pricing of games. but until that changes I won't be playing a lot of ok games out there.

    and you're right. the more Xboxs MS sells the better so I'm sure they're happy to brick an Xbox that is being used that way in hopes of selling more units.

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