Spending enough time with all of your user accounts can be difficult. I know, believe me I do. But Microsoft has finally heard enough of our excuses and is getting ready to clean house for Xbox Live gamertags that haven't logged in within five years.
The company's updated service agreement, which will go into effect on September 15, 2016, adds the new stipulation. Here's the relevant section summarized in plain English from Microsoft's site (opens in new tab): "In the Microsoft Account or Skype Account section, we’ve added a requirement that you must sign into the Xbox Services at least once in a 5-year period to keep the Xbox gamertag associated with your Microsoft account. We’ve also added that if your account is compromised, we may be required to disable access to certain content."
If you lose your gamertag, it doesn't mean you lose access to your account. You'll just get an automatically generated replacement tag when you log back in. And yes, gamertag changes do still cost money unless you have a voucher.
Microsoft has done several big purges (opens in new tab) of disused gamertags from the original Xbox era before. It looks like this new clause will help automate that process with a rolling 5-year window. It's a bit inconvenient for folks who don't use Xbox Live (which has only been around for 13 years itself) as part of their daily routine, sure, but it also means a bunch more primo names will start re-circulating soon.
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