Speaking to VentureBeat, Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten discussed the recent round of Xbox Live bans. According to Whitten, banning users from Xbox Live is "a cat and mouse game." Said Whitten, "These were people that were pirating software." He added that Microsoft looks at banning users "from a safety and anti-cheating perspective" and that the company looks out for its partners. Responding to the widely reported story that Microsoft banned over a million Xbox Live users, Whitten said that the figure is inaccurate. "I cannot explain to you why people would think it was a million people," said Whitten, then adding quite succinctly, "It wasn't a million people."

Whitten went on to state his belief that Microsoft does "a really good job" of monitoring the activity on Xbox Live, specifically in terms of piracy and online harassment. He concluded that the company is "committed to making [Xbox Live] better and better."

The interview also covers the recent integration of Facebook on Xbox, the effect Modern Warfare 2 had on Live activity (hint: a big one) and whether or not we'll be playing Facebook games on our consoles anytime soon. Don't expect a straight answer on that last one though, as the closes Whitten gets is, "In the future, they will move much closer together."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.