Gamespot is reporting that Microsoft is mass-banning individuals who are playing illegal copies of Halo Reach on Xbox Live. This report is based on a Microsoft policy document obtained by website MaxConsole. The story began earlier this month when a group of modders managed to grab an early version of Bungie's last Halo game via Microsoft's virtual marketplace. While this group of modders did not intend to release the game (allegedly), it ultimately ended up on file-sharing sites.
Now Microsoft is cleaning the barn; anyone caught playing the unauthorized version of the game will be banned. The language in the policy document is bad news for anyone that gets banned, because apparently it is permanent - though whether that ban is specific to Gamertag or system is not known. The most important thing from the document is the following:
"During your suspension, you will not be able to log into Xbox Live. Your Xbox Live privileges will not be reinstated. Customer Support is not able to modify or provide any further details about your suspension," the document reads.
Microsoft's director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, Stephen Toulouse, commented on the bans via Twitter:
"As with all unauthorized play on Xbox Live, anyone playing any unauthorized title runs the risk of account permaban and console. Remember, legit store bought copy runs no risk of ban. Key word: UNAUTHORIZED. We have ways of knowing."