Microsoft kicks 'Gears of War' leakers off Xbox Live

By Shawn Knight
May 15, 2015
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  1. microsoft gears war xbox live e3 epic games leak gears of war xbox one vmc games game tester

    It’s no secret that Microsoft has been working on an unannounced remake of Gears of War for the Xbox One after acquiring the franchise from Epic Games last year. Even still, Microsoft would like details of unannounced titles to remain that way which explains why the company got so ticked off when footage from the game recently leaked online.

    Microsoft contracted VMC Games to perform private beta testing of the Gears of War remake. Its employees work from home under a non-disclosure agreement, testing AAA multiplayer console and PC titles using their own equipment.

    The recent leaked footage you may have seen online was traced back to employees of VMC Games. As a result of breaking the NDA, the offending employees have been terminated from VMC Games. Worse yet, Microsoft banned the users from Xbox Live for an undisclosed period of time (potentially a lifetime ban).

    Without access to Xbox Live, a console is essentially crippled as it can’t download patches or access online-only titles like Destiny.

    The Gears of War footage first appeared on XboxDVR but has since been removed. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the clips quickly found their way to other sites – all but guaranteeing that there’s no controlling the leak now.

    Either way, we should hear something official on the matter next month as Microsoft is expected to unveil the game during E3.

    Video via Polygon

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2015
  2. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Guru Posts: 737   +259

    Good. I don't like it when people think they are special enough that they can ignore an NDA...
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
    SantistaUSA and drjekelmrhyde like this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    Sure, but I also don't like the idea that I may have hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours invested into a system only for everything I own to become useless. "banned from xbox live" means a whole lot more than "banned from xbox live". It means having your console disabled and any map packs or DLC associated with your account because un-usable. It's like when I see armed guards at the premier of a blockbuster movie.

    The treatment of the average citizen by these large companies is completely unacceptable. The intellectual property games that these companies play is ridiculous. When I buy something It should become mine, not paying for the right to use it. If you get banned from PSN or XBox Live you have to buy a new console, make a new account and buy all of your DLC over again.

    It's not just consoles anymore, either. With digital downloads I loss access to all of my origin or steam games if I'm banned. that's thousands of dollars I've spent over years of my life.

    It's criminal, plan and simple.
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,603   +411

    lol these are dev kits givin to a company hired to beta test. Surely you don't think a retail game breaks any kind of NDA.....
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    It's in the terms of service for normal users too that allow this to happen. People get reported and banned from their accounts for all sorts of silly reasons. There are trival things that people get banned for and they loss access to their console and account essentially costing them thousands for just having fun in an online videogame. The punishment does not fit the crime. This is certainly an extreme circumstance, but this happens more often than you might think to normal users. They have no right to take back something I already paid for. This practice is widespread in many different industries and it is criminal, plan and simple.

    We live in a world were the consumer is always on the losing side, I really don't understand how anyone can defend these kinds of practices.
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,603   +411

    What you're talking about has nothing to do with this article. Maybe you should rant on XBOX/PS forums instead?
  7. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    From the article:
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,819   +485

    They should be glad that that's the only thing that they did to them.
    Skewed Input likes this.
  9. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,603   +411

    "Good. I don't like it when people think they are special enough that they can ignore an NDA..."
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  10. FloofyFox

    FloofyFox TS Rookie

    No sympathy.

    The people testing this game signed an NDA and knew full well the consequences of breaking that signed contract.

    It seems that leaks for new products is only becoming more common. I usually expect there to be some sort of leak for most new products coming out before the dev is actually ready to properly present it. There aren't any secrets anymore, and it seems that more and more people are disregarding these NDAs. Good for Microsoft, they show that breaching a contract will not go unpunished, and maybe bring some meaning back to the phrase DO NOT DISCLOSE THIS INFORMATION.
  11. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    most leaked fottage is some streaming a game to a few friends of theirs and one ******* decides to record it and post it online. They have watermarks in the video telling them what the account is. I've in in guilds where many of us get beta access and we stream it to the rest of the guild. This practice is harmless and widespread. It is not something that people deserve to lose thousands of dollars over.

    I'm arguing with the practice of companies being able to remotely disable your equipment for really whatever reason they want. This practice is criminal, it isn't just about the NDA's. It's harmless and there are literally NO CONSEQUENCES for the company when footage gets leaked. Hell, it nomally gets positive publicity and increases sales. The only time when companies make a big deal about NDA's is when the game sucks and they're trying to hide so they can fill up with preorders and make their money back before launch.
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,603   +411

    Go convince someone else to believe that. I'm not buying what you're selling.
    m4a4 and SantistaUSA like this.
  13. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    Well if you're going to willingly be ignorant of the problem then I'm wasting my time with you anyway.
  14. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    excellent rebuttal, you have defeated me with your artfully crafted argument
  15. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,603   +411

  16. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

  17. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +12

    I've worked with VMC in the past, they're a fantastic company and repeatedly make you aware of the NDA and how it effects everyone you tell about the game (such as family and friends) and that going over it will have serious consequences. It's disappointing people still don't respect this special privilege which they're paid for too.

    I think it's a necessary action, especially considering how much of a large franchise Gears of War is, to demonstrate how serious this is, the games I've tested would put people off completely and it's extremely understand to why this has such harsh outcomes.
  18. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    The problem I have with this is that you can essentially be fined whatever your account and hardware is worth without due process. There is no universally accepted punishment for this. I don't have a problem with punishing people who break the NDA, I'm saying that the punishment DOES NOT fit the crime.

    The largest problem that I have with this is that this kind of thing is not unique to people who break NDA's. It can happen to anyone. This practice should be illegal and goes against every consumers best interest.

    I will say it again. I have no problem punishing people who break NDA's, I have a problem with it being legal for companies to take away things that you have paid for without due process. They are taking away games from developers that had nothing to do with the leaks. This isn't just a consumer problem, it's a developer problem.
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    I didn't see this in the article, in fact, quite the opposite. Did I overlook it or perhaps you got this from another source?
  20. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    I worded that poorly. If I do something in a rockstar game that gets me banned from Xbox live, I lose all my games and DLC that I purchased from other developers. There for other developers lose sales when I lose my account /console.
  21. Yraz, not sure I understand your argument here . . .

    1) staff from VMC signed an NDA - Non-Disclosure Agreement, to do testing on new Gears of War game.
    2) some staff violated this by recording footage and leaking it.
    3) said staff got their accounts banned, fired and may have further legal implications.

    what is the issue? They broke a signed contract not to talk about and display another companies IP and development work and got penalised for it.
    Aside from all this, the terms of service for XBox and Live allow MS to do this
  22. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    My problem is very simple. They are effectively being fined the value of their account and hardware without due process. However, breaking an NDA is not the only way to get your account removed and hardware locked. There is no evidence that these people did anything wrong aside from Microsoft saying so and I would actually like them to prove damages if they're actually going to go around effectively fining people. We have a right to due process, NDA or not. This practice should be illegal. There isn't even universally accepted punishment for what breaking an NDA should be. One account may have only 1 game linked to it for less than $60. Another may have well over $1000 on it. I could be logged into a friends console when the ban goes into effect, locking his console. There are too many variables and no set way to deal with any of them

    The mechanisms in place that allow for the swift removal of any products you may own on a certain platform simply because a company says so should be illegal. Stop seeing it from the narrow perspective of "just the NDA". Everyone keeps going back to the NDA. What everyone is forgetting is that in the EULA you "signed", you agreed to have your digital items to be removed at the will of the platform owner at anytime without any right or reason. If you don't see that as a problem then we have a much larger problem.
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  23. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +12

    All in all, the NDA was created for Microsoft and they own the franchise, the hardware and infrastructure (Xbox Live) it runs on, if you upset them then you lose your access to all of it. Just so happens that other devs use the same platform meaning they'll lose everything else too. Any other company, the consequence would of been less severe because other companies don't own as much as Microsoft.

    Developers are already on top of this problem by watermarking all of their games with your information. If this doesn't stop people from leaking games then I don't really know what will.
  24. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,838   +884

    The problem I have with this isn't that these are people who are professionally employed, most of them are probably they're kids who lied on the EULA so they could get access to new games they want to play for free. These kids aren't able to sign a legally binding contract.

    And again, if MS wants to go around fining people in a process that is very obviously unconstitutional and illegal, then I want them to launch an investigation and PROVE DAMAGES FOR THE COST OF THE ACCOUNTS BANNED. And they do not own the hardware, they own the software that the hardware runs on.

    if you don't believe in your own rights as a citizen, well quite frankly go kill yourself. We have a right to due process, I don't think people understand what exactly that means. If you aren't going to fight for your rights as a citizen then you have no business being a citizen. I know I'm certainly not going to give up any of my rights just because you have a problem with kids on xbox live.

    I'd put money on the fact that gears of wars is going to be a garbage game. That's the only reason they really have to hide anything. Most of the times leaks only increase interest in a game, with many companies purposely leaking information to create interest. The only reason MS would do something like this is if the game is worse than the press they're going to be getting.

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