Banned Xbox One Users Lose All Of Their Games [Updated]

Written by Chris Lock

Please note: This article has been updated several times since the initial news. We have kept every new update as it was posted for posterity. For the full story please read the entire article.

Recently confirmed by @XboxSupport on twitter, if your account has been banned you will lose the license to any games attributed to that account.

This news comes as yet another blow in the perceived attack on gamers. Not everyone is banned fairly, so this could become a huge problem down the road.

When asked about a hacked account, this was their response.

We have reached out to make sure that this only applies to digital games and not your disc copies. If so then it is crisis averted.


Their response is to be expected, with no real confirmation one way or the other.

What does this mean for Disc Games. One could argue that they should have a clear “no” on this if they intended to let banned players keep their disc licenses. But, they could have just not made up their minds yet. So we will wait and see and hope for the best but, given their recent track record, prepare for the worst.

I also asked if Netflix and TV functionality would be available to banned players. They responded in another ambiguous way. ( I neglected to clarify if this applied to Xbox One or Xbox 360.)

I have also reached out to Xbox officially, rather than their twitter support, for comment. We will update if/when we hear back from them.

[update 2]

There has been reference to the the Terms of Service that Xbox users have to agree to in order to use the service. While the current terms are specifically for Xbox Live on Xbox 360 and not Xbox One one can infer a few of the possible guidelines that the Xbox One will use when it comes to your rights.

Section 1.7 is the directed response which states:

We may change the Services at any time, for any reason or no reason, and we may also cancel or suspend your ability to access the Services if you’re in breach of this Agreement. If we cancel your Services account or your credentials, your right to use the Services stops immediately, but you’re still required to pay all charges already incurred through that account.

But reading a bit further down into article 1.12 we could see the way things could change. Games are considered more of a service now and unless you work within the confines of the Xbox One market place, your game could be considered unauthorized software.

You can’t use unauthorized software or hardware to access the Services, nor can you modify an Authorized Device in any unauthorized way (e.g., through unauthorized repairs, unauthorized upgrades, or unauthorized downloads). You agree that we have the right to send data, applications or other content to any software or hardware that you are using to access the Services for the purpose of detecting an unauthorized modification and/or disabling the modified device.

You must not attempt to disassemble, decompile, create derivative works of, reverse engineer, modify, further sublicense, distribute, or use for other purposes the Services, any game, application, or other content available or accessible through the Services, or any hardware associated with the Services or with an Authorized Device. If you do, we may cancel your account and your ability to access the Services, and pursue other legal remedies. We may take any legal action we deem appropriate against users who violate our systems or network security, this Agreement or any additional terms incorporated or referenced in it. Such users may also incur criminal or civil liability.

At the moment the Terms of Service can only help speculate how the Xbox One will handle banned account who own games, bought either new or used. Nobody, outside of a few higher-ups at Microsoft, truly knows how this will all works yet. Let us hope thatthey can pull together a message quickly to address this potential problem.

[update 3]

Well that was quick. According to @XboxSupport1 the original tweet was “intended” for the Xbox 360, not Xbox One. While this would not be the first time Xbox Support said something in error, it would also not be the first time they revealed something before it was ready. I personally hope this was a simple mistake, but that leaves a burning question in my mind. What about all the other tweets?

[update 4]

Larry Hyrb, aka Major Nelson, in a video interview with Reddit, has clarified banning and other tough topics. Within one minute of the video he is asked whether banned users will lose access to their games, in which he responds “absolutely not.” See the full video below.

He, and his bear hat, also discuss a few more questions that Reddit users had. It is very fascinating and you should watch the whole thing.

So it looks like Banned users will not lose their disc based games, even though they are tied to you account. We will see for sure how the rest of it shakes out once the full Xbox One Terms of Service are released. So until then, keep calm and know that the people at Microsoft, while not always on message, are not stupid.

[update 5]

Microsoft has gotten back with me with a response that was to be expected. I asked if they could clarify how banned gamers will still be able to play their disc games when those discs are tied to your account. This is what they told me –

“Xbox One is still in development and we are excited to share more over the coming months, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time.” ­– Microsoft Spokesperson

So that is all the news we have, and probably will have, for quite some time. The Xbox One will be released later this year and by that time we should understand exactly how banning works. For the time being it seems as though what could have been “the most bone-headed decision in gaming, ever” was actually just a flub up. Let us hope it stays that way.

About the author

Chris Lock

Just a guy that loves games and wants so badly to tell you about them. I have a habit of being a terrible person. Prone to talk about the worst games imaginable. Poke-fan. LBP admirer. RPG lover. Writer. Podcaster. Father. Husband. Student. Tired. @Snickelsox on twitter.


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  • Major Nelson was wrong about the whole most people are connected thing. America, which is one of the richest countries in the world, still has 24% of it’s people not connected at home.

  • So as long as you have two BANNED Xbones, you have no access to XBL, but you also have no physical game DRM either. You can share physical games just like now.

  • The first question…about shutting down the servers in the far future: I know it’s still very early considering the console isn’t out yet, but I think it’s very important. For me anyway, that is my biggest deterrent against getting an Xbox One. As it is I don’t like the fact that when a company shutdown a server I can no longer play that game online, so if that happens to a console…considering how much I’ve invested into that console…yeah, it’s a bit of a deal breaker for me, sorry Nelson.

    PS4 all the way.

  • “how is the 24 hr connect thing a bonus to the gamer?”

    “why… flexibility of course!”

    let’s answer a good question with a vague answer… flexibility, really, is that even close to an answer? it means having a game just appear and be ready to launch, like when you put a real disc in.

    oh, flexibility now means the game is going from playable to unplayable once the servers go away/down/hacked. that is making gaming a great step forward.

  • “This news comes as yet another blow to the perceived attack on gamers.”

    This sentence makes no sense.

    I’m guessing you were trying to say that this news contributes to the perception that Microsoft is attacking gamers, i.e. it is “yet another blow IN THE perceived attack on gamers.”

    But what you actually said was that Microsoft is attacking the perception that they are attacking gamers.

    Pretty sure that’s not what you intended.

    • You know what, you’re right. That sentence did read poorly. It has been changed.

  • Of course it means you loose you games if you console is banned, remember your console has to check in every day (because you’re all pirates) and if it can’t you can’t play your games.

    You won’t own your Xbox One or games, you will pay MS and they will let you use them but anytime they feel like it they will take the privilege away and keep your money.

  • Sony trolling Microsoft is the best possible idea, they’ve already started it with that vid at E3. SEGA did the same to Nintendo when it was Genesis versus SNES, the glory days of gaming. So someone could spend thousands on games and the lot goes. What I’ve seen of Microsoft with the Xbox One, they’re like the German SS. New rumours each week. Latest rumour is that your Xbox One will have to be unlocked if you sell it, just like mobile phones and it can only be done at selected stores, so if you don’t agree to the price (to sell it), you’re stuck. You own your Xbox One, but Microsoft controls it which is the case with games. When they stop supporting the Xbox One and games, they’ll be useless because Microsoft says so. It’s not Simon says, it’s what Microsoft says. If there’s an Xbox Two, you’ll probably have to download games games (at a cost), even though you paid into them years ago. Next, they’ll be restrictions on pausing games.

  • @ Microsoft

    There’s no earthly way of knowing,

    Which direction we are going,

    There’s no knowing where we’re rowing,

    Or which way the river’s flowing,

    Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

    Not a speck of light is showing so the danger must be growing,

    Are the fires of hell A-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing?

    YES! The danger must be growing, for the rowers keep on rowing,

    And they’re certainly not showing, any signs that they are slowing!!!

    • Isn’t it weird how a blurb can stick with you for your entire life?

      I can seem him in the boat right now.

  • This info needs to be spread to the ordinary man on the street. Get to it. Save gaming.

    • “Extra Extra, read all about it! Someone at Microsoft says something dumb! In other news, grass is apparently green. Who knew!?”

      • That is hilarious! One of those moments that I actually laughed out loud and didn’t just text lol!! And I like the willy wonky creepy boat scene reference from jaffman

  • If these are rules being imposed on 360, then expect much the same rules are going to apply to microsofts more expensive XBOX One infrastructure.
    I was suspended from “Steam” once for absolutely no reason. And when I e-mailed, they couldn’t tell me why, only game me a nigh on impossible set of loop holes to jump through to reinstate my account.
    I never touched Steam again.
    Same with an account on the “N4G” news site. Account banned for no apparent reason, and they wouldn’t respond at all to my e-mails.

    It this happens with XBOX One. Think this will significantly stunt their install base

  • Microsoft is digging its own hole inch by inch that will eventually be deep enough to suffice a grave of despair and regret for their immutable stupidity.

  • “We don’t have any real specifics.” This just means stop asking questions we don’t have answers to. Xbox now has PR openings people. Get your resume’s ready.

    • there policies are witrin up already they just don’t want to say any thing

  • hahaha microsofts uses there key line of l confirming that this means you will get fucked by them

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