Gears of War leakers face Xbox Live ban

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UPDATE: To be clear, if a console is suspended from Xbox Live for a violation of the Terms of Use, it can still be used offline," a Microsoft spokesperson told MCV, denying that any consoles had been 'bricked' remotely.

"Microsoft enforcement action does not result in a console becoming unusable. Suspensions for both consoles and accounts are determined by looking at a number of factors. To avoid enforcement action including suspension from the service, users should follow the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.”

The headline has been amended to reflect this.

ORIGINAL STORY: Microsoft has reportedly used a remote killswitch to disable Xbox One consoles owned by beta testers who leaked video of the unannounced Gears of War remake.

Kotaku reports select Xbox One consoles have been bricked for an unspecified length of time in response to the leaks. The video footage apparently came from those with access to the Global Beta Test Network of VMC Games – a program of thousands of players that publishers use to test in-development games in live-play situations.

An email sent to players by VMC in the wake of the Gears of War leaks explains the consequences for breaking Microsoft's NDA.

"The nature of the leak having had occurred through Xbox One, actually also went against the Microsoft EULA, which is agreed upon when creating an Xbox Live account, or any other type of Microsoft account," the email reportedly states.

"This being said, as per that agreement with the testers in fault, Microsoft also permanently disabled their Xbox Live accounts (as well as other suspected accounts present on their Xbox One kits) and temporarily blocked all of their Xbox One privileges - meaning that for a period of time which Microsoft decides on depending on the severity of the offense, their Xbox One is entirely unusable."

Microsoft has yet to issue comment on the matter.

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