Microsoft threatens to ban Xbox Live members after ‘Gears of War: Judgment’ leaks online

Judgment multiplayer

In terms of major console companies, Sony has a reputation for big leaks. The PSP Go, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and a huge number of other games and hardware releases have all been made public well before the company was ready for them to be out there. It even looks like the PlayStation 4 controller made it onto the Web before Sony’s big press conference, scheduled for tomorrow, to discuss the console. For as leaky a ship as Sony is, it doesn’t have as many issues keeping full games from leaking before their release as Microsoft does. The latest major game published by Microsoft to “hit early” is Gears of War: Judgment, and, as the company is wont to do, it’s banning players from Xbox Live when they’re caught playing the game.

“We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately,” said a Microsoft spokesperson on Tuesday. “Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services.”

Since playing pirated games violates the Xbox Live Code of Conduct as well as the Terms of Use, players caught firing up early copies of Gears of War: Judgment will be banned from the service. “Playing pirated copies of games … will result in enforcement action, such as account and console bans.”

 Microsoft began banning players from Xbox Live just before its last major game release, Halo 4. Full retail copies of Halo 4 were falling into players hands in October 2012 – a full month before the game came out. Gamers caught playing the Halo 4 were permanently banned from the network, receiving a message that read: “This email is to notify you that your Xbox Live privileges have been permanently suspended due to illegitimate prerelease title play. Because your conduct is in violation, the Xbox Live Enforcement Team has issued a permanent suspension. Your Xbox Live privileges will not be reinstated.” 

It’s not clear if Microsoft is permanently banning early Judgment players, though their infraction is seemingly worse. Many Halo 4 players purchased the game early from legitimate retailers and were still banned. Gears of War: Judgment hasn’t been released early, but the game data itself has been leaked to torrent websites across the Internet.

Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

You can play these classic Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One

The Xbox One supports backward compatibility with a growing library of Xbox 360 games. These are the best Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with Xbox One, including action games, shooters, and more.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Gaming

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Gaming

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.