Class Action Suit Forming Over Xbox Live Bans?

News hit recently that Microsoft banned 600,000 users from Xbox Live. Now it looks like there may be a class action lawsuit forming as a result.

AbingtonIP, a law firm specializing in consumer class action lawsuits, among other things, has a page up on their website devoted to the Microsoft and their brutal banhammer. They’re asking any gamers who have been banned from Live and not refunded a prorated portion of their Xbox Live gold subscription fee to come forward and submit their information.

They acknowledge that console game piracy is a legitimate reason to ban a console, but suggest that Microsoft isn’t handling the matter with proper caution.

“Microsoft has chosen to use one of the most indiscriminate “weapons” in its arsenal in an effort to combat piracy — as a result, use of this “weapon” has resulted in a great deal of collateral damage — many people were affected who had nothing to do with piracy. Furthermore, Xbox console functions that have nothing to do with piracy were also affected or disabled. Details aside, Microsoft’s bans could (and should) have been more measured.”

A user over at Inc Gamers posted on the original article stating that refunds aren’t needed because Microsoft doesn’t ban the gamertag, just the console, so the gamer’s gold subscription can still be used on another console. It’s a good point and something to think about.

I am firmly rooted on the fence on this one. By nature, I’m wary of any lawsuits regarding videogames or the videogames industry, but 600,000 people is a lot of people, and I think it’s entirely possible that many of those consoles were mistakenly banned. However, I wouldn’t say I agree with AbingtonIP.

“Microsoft “conveniently” timed the Xbox console ban to coincide with the release of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game and less than two months after the release of the very popular Halo 3: ODST game. This “convenient” timing may have resulted in more Xbox Live subscription revenues for Microsoft than it would have generated had these Xbox console bans taken place at some time before the release of Halo 3: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.”

Now we’re crossing over into paranoid territory and my lawsuit sense is acting up. Is this justified? What do you guys think?


Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Microsoft has a long history in the courts fighting governments and such, so I doubt that this would seriously go anywhere. And while, yes, 600,000 is a big number, they have a user base that stretches into the millions – I could see a fraction of those, say 600,000 gamers, trying to mod their console (if only to keep it from doing the dance of the three red lights :o)

  2. 3% or not what happened to innocent until proven guilty, I am sure those that are “not” have an opinion on it. Blocking access is one thing. disabling through a counsol is another and I feel this is where the line gets crossed. Developers have to adapt, not just pull the switch because they can.

    I don’t think there is any doubt that the timing was on purpose.

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