U.S. firm Abington IP recently announced on its website that it’s begun an investigation into Microsoft’s recent worldwide crackdown on modified Xbox 360 consoles by booting them from the Xbox Live online network, and is asking those interested in joining the suit to contact them.
Photograph by: Bruno Schlumberger, Ottawa Citizen
Microsoft "conveniently" waited until after the launch of two of Xbox 360's biggest holiday titles before banning up to one million consoles from accessing its online gaming service, says a law firm that specializes in consumer class action lawsuits.
U.S. firm Abington IP recently announced on its website that it's begun an investigation into Microsoft's recent worldwide crackdown on modified Xbox 360 consoles by booting them from the Xbox Live online network, and is asking those interested in joining the suit to contact them.
The number of bans has not been released by Microsoft, but some media reports suggest between 600,000 and one million consoles were banned.
More than 20 million people are members of Xbox Live.
Abington IP argues the timing may have resulted in more Xbox Live subscription revenues for Microsoft than it would have generated had the console bans taken place before the releases.
A 12-month subscription to the service, which allows players to access the online marketplace and play online with other subscribers, costs about $60.
The firm also argued sales of Modern Warfare 2 — which launched Nov. 10 and set a new sales record by grossing about $550 million over the first five days of sales — would have been hampered by the bans. Both Halo: ODST and Modern Warfare 2 have very popular multiplayer modes.
"As an aside, piracy is a legitimate concern for Microsoft and other content producers," said Abington IP. "However . . . Microsoft has chosen to use one of the most indiscriminate 'weapons' in its arsenal in an effort to combat piracy."
As a result, there was "a great deal of collateral damage," with many people affected who had nothing to do with piracy, said the firm.
As Microsoft started banning consoles, Xbox spokesman Larry Hryb (who's also known within the gaming community as Major Nelson), said the bans were made to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay.
Neither Microsoft nor Abington IP could be reached Thursday night for comment.
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