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Xbox Live gamertags now expire if you don’t login often enough

by Eric Frederiksen | July 26, 2016July 26, 2016 1:30 pm PST

If you like your gamertag, you’ll need to start logging in once in a while to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere. But don’t worry – you’re probably fine.

Microsoft is updating the Xbox Live terms of service, and one of the updates changes talks about expiration of gamertags. If you’re the type who only logs in when BioWare releases a new RPG or the latest sportsball simulator comes out, though, you don’t have to worry. Here’s the language from the agreement:

You must sign into Xbox Services at least once in a five-year period,” the agreement reads, “otherwise you may lose access to the gamertag associated with your account and that gamertag may become available for use by others.

In other words, very few gamers are actually subject to this, and even fewer gamers will actually notice if it happens to them. Instead, this will ensure that someone who created a gamertag five years ago, never to login again, doesn’t get to keep that tag, holding it back from someone who might make more frequent use of it. Microsoft released a million abandoned gamertags earlier this year, and we haven’t seen nor heard of any blowback since then.

It’s a change that should serve to benefit many more of Microsoft’s customers than it hurts. But if you really want to keep that gamertag you made back in the Xbox 360’s heyday, you’ll probably want to dust off your system and boot it up for a minute.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...