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Bring the Banhammer! Microsoft declares WAR on leaky Gears Xbox users

It’s just offline stuff for you, says Redmond

By Alexander J Martin, 15 May 2015

Microsoft has struck down the Xbox Live accounts of those who have attempted to leak and share videos of its wide-scale beta test of the upcoming Gears of War remake.

Kotaku reports that a memo from games testing company VMC said that Microsoft had both permanently banned the leakers from Xbox Live and temporarily disabled their consoles, rendering them useless:

Microsoft also permanently disabled their Xbox LIVE accounts (as well as other suspected accounts present on their Xbox One kits) and temporarily blocked all of their Xbox One privileges – meaning that for a period of time which Microsoft decides on, depending on the severity of the offense, their Xbox One is entirely unusable.

However, a response from Microsoft to Kotaku denies this:

To be clear, if a console is suspended from Xbox Live for a violation of the Terms of Use, it can still be used offline. Microsoft enforcement action does not result in a console becoming unusable.

The Register contacted VMC's Slough office for comment, where the person on the other end of the line claimed, after confirming that we had contacted VMC, not to know anything about the company, or what its professional activity was, and that its staff were under a non-disclosure agreement.

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!

We were unable to get through to the company's American offices, possibly because staff there are not allowed to even pick up the phone, for fear of accidentally confirming something.

A spokesperson for Microsoft told The Register that "suspensions for both consoles and accounts are determined by looking at a number of factors. To avoid enforcement action, including suspension from the service, users should follow the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Code of Conduct".

When asked about the expectation that Microsoft will be launching its official Gears of War reveal at E3 in June, the spokesperson said: "We have nothing further to announce at this time." ®

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