Microsoft is freeing up nearly one million gamertags0 Comments
There are loads of Xbox Live gamertags out in the wild, ranging from descriptive or appropriate to silly or even blasphemous. Gamertags are very much the gateway to someone's identity on the Live service, so it's a little disheartening when users can't choose the gamertag they want, and even moreso if the name was claimed by someone who isn't using it.
For those afflicted with such woes, Microsoft has a nice little solution — the company has announced that they're going to "release" close to one million gamertags that have fallen into obscurity later this week. Players can pick up any of these gamertags they choose, with the only prerequisite to the change being a total accumulation of a year's worth of Gold status since 2002.
The gamertags won't release all at once, as Microsoft wants to give "fans in various countries an equal chance to get one." However, the release period will only be 24 hours, so vigilant players who want a second try at claiming a name for themselves won't have to spend a week in the effort.
Grabbing a new (or in this case, old) name isn't a revolutionary idea, but that little bit of added freshness is always a bonus. Plus, it's a benefit that Sony followers can't boast, as users of the PlayStation Network are entirely tied to their original usernames. PSN users are also confusingly tied to whatever number they punched in for their birthdate, which is a dumbfounding situation to be in when it comes to account recovery — which, historically speaking, is something Sony ought to be mindful of.
Microsoft hasn't provided a full list of the gamertags that will be freed up — no doubt many of the names that have been abandoned were abandoned for good reason, if you catch my drift — but they've pointed us in the direction of the Xbox website needed to make the change, which ought to be good enough. The gamertags will be freed up starting at 11 am PST on May 18.
1 Million Old Xbox Live Gamertags Being Freed Up, Here's How To Get One, GameSpot