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Microsoft ban for 'Gears of Wars' leakers only knocks them offline

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Remember that Xbox One Gears of War remaster leak from a few weeks back? Well, the folks who gave word about it and then proceeded to upload video of the game in action have apparently had their Xbox Live accounts "permanently disabled" and supposedly "all of their Xbox One privileges" have been blocked according to an email from the game's testing agency that was obtained by Kotaku. As Microsoft tells us, that isn't quite the case; it's more of a soft ban that means the affected accounts can't go online:

"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. 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."

So, the affected game testers (who almost assuredly signed nondisclosure agreements that are supposed to ensure these types of leaks don't happen) can still use their retail Xbox One consoles, but can't go online with them. It isn't effectively bricking, it's just removing any type of connected functionality from them. Which, admittedly is a lot, but they should still be able to play games or watch a Blu-ray. We've reached out for further clarification and will update this post when we have it.

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