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Earlier today news broke when, VMC Games, the company that is conducting testing on the rumored Gears of War remake, sent an email to testers in light of the recent leaks of game footage on the internet. The email stated that the testers involved in the leak would be banned from VMC’s program and have their Xbox Ones completely bricked indefinitely until Microsoft determines otherwise.

According to the VMC email Microsoft has banned their online accounts as well as making their consoles entirely unusable. VMC testers told Kotaku that “VMC contractors tell us they use their personal consoles for testing, not any sort of debug machines provided by the company.” VMC said that the leakers violated not only the NDA they were under for the tester program but also the Microsoft EULA because the leak happened through an Xbox One. VMC said:

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.

So VMC is saying that Microsoft has the ability to remotely brick anyone’s Xbox One at anytime. This, if true, is a very worrying prospect; it means that Microsoft could potentially brick your Xbox One with little notice other than telling you that you have violated the Microsoft EULA.

Microsoft has since responded in the wake of the questions about whether the VMC email’s information is accurate as to what punishments were placed upon the leakers, and whether or not Microsoft has the ability to remotely brick consumer’s Xbox Ones. Microsoft has released this statement:

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.

Microsoft still hasn’t really clarified whether they have the ability to remotely brick someone’s Xbox One, or exactly what the punishments were for the leakers. Although, just taking away online capabilities of the Xbox One basically the console useless, seeing as almost all features rely on a connection to Xbox Live to function. This article will be updated if Microsoft clarifies their statement further.

What do you think about the potential for Microsoft to remotely brick your console?


Kyle Downey

Staff Writer

Staff Writer looking to keep you both informed and entertained. Favorite games include: Pokemon, Overwatch, Golden Sun, Portal, and Elder Scrolls.