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Published on November 13th, 2009 | by prime

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Xbox Live Players banned for playing pirated games

“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.”

Thousands of gamers using Microsoft’s online gaming service Xbox Live may have had their accounts cut off by modifying their consoles to play pirated games, BBC News reported.

Microsoft confirmed that it had banned a “small percentage” of the 20 million Xbox Live users worldwide and several online reports say as many as 600,000 gamers may have been affected.

Modifying an Xbox 360 console “violates” the service’s “terms of use” and would result in a player being disconnected, according to Microsoft.

The company released a statement saying that all consumers should know that piracy is illegal and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs violates the Xbox Live terms of use and will void the warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live.

The bans were apparently timed to coincide with yesterday’s release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, expected to be by far the biggest gaming event of the year.

“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,” the statement said.

Microsoft has equipped the Xbox 360 with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies to detect pirated software.

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

But some chips are specifically designed to play pirated games.

The company did now say how it was able to determine which gamers to disconnect.

Microsoft said in a statement it does not reveal specifics, but it can say that all consoles have been verified to have violated the terms of use.

Gamers with any modifications were met with a message during the login process that read: “Your console has been banned from Xbox“.

The ban does not stop the console from working and only affects a gamer’s Xbox Live account, according to reports.

The banning is part of an annual November sweep that Microsoft carries out each year to remove modified Xboxes from its online gaming service.

So-called “modding” or “chipping” is popular among people who want to play pirated games and games bought in other regions.

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