Microsoft Unleashes Banhammer on Xbox 360 Modders

Reports have begun rolling in from numerous sources that Microsoft has once again unleashed the banhammer on Xbox Live subscribers with modified Xbox 360 consoles.

The latest batch of bans represents the second major sweep by Microsoft, and may have ties to the release of Gears of War 2. The first wave took place during the Halo 3 launch, perhaps revealing an anti-piracy strategy by Microsoft which is tied to major product launches.

At this time, the exact number of consoles banned are unavailable, however the current wave of bans has yet to finish. Administrators and members of a number of communities dedicated to the modification of Xbox 360 consoles are scrambling to identify just how Microsoft was able to identify their modifications. Several users have claimed that they had made numerous efforts to avoid detection through the use of hardware and software based "stealth patches." Some users who have been banned even claim that they had disconnected their network cables while playing pirated copies of retail games, but were still targeted in the sweep.

Xbox Live’s Major Nelson thus far is the only one to comment on the situation officially, stating on his blog "In our our continued effort to keep gameplay safe and secure for our community of more than 14 million members, Microsoft has taken action against a small percentage of Xbox 360 consoles that have been illegally modified in order to play pirated games." He continues "The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive, both from manufacturers and the local companies that support them. We will continue to employ and bolster anti-piracy security measures to counter piracy in the gaming industry and improve security in the Xbox LIVE community."

While the "modding" community thus far has been unable to determine the exact method of detection used to single them out, theories related to the use of recently leaked press copies of Fallout 3 and Saints Row 2 seem to be a common factor in those that have been already banned. The bans enforced are reported to be permanent, with no method available to contest the decision through Microsoft.

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  • Doesn't the 360 log when you played a game? Play a game before launch and well, wouldn't be too hard to see who is pirating and who isn't. I'm not at home so I can't check...
  • Way to go Microsoft!!! This is the first time I've seen them do something right for a long time!!!

    Developers will start to feel more confident that their games won't be pirated and release more titles!
  • All i can say is good. Valve started doing the same thing years ago. Hope it catchs on. Though valve was more vs cheating which is more what i care about. Pirating a game to try it first is fine by me. Me like alot of people are sick of spending $50 for a game that sux since there are more bad games made now then good ones its nice to find out before you buy it. Though if you know your going to like it and your a "fanboy" so to speak of a game just buy the damn thing.