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Replacement Xbox 360 with Xbox Live Arcade Games: The Solution

September 20, 2007

After a couple of calls to Xbox Live support, I finally received a clear explanation of how to get Xbox Live Arcade games I had purchased on a predecessor console to work on the new console without having to sign in to Xbox Live (the issue I described here):

  • Delete the Xbox Live Arcade account & arcade games from the system
  • Reboot the Xbox 360 without the HD/Memory Card that had the deleted Gamertag attached
  • Recover the Gamertag
  • Re-download the arcade games

I thought this worked for me for the couple of titles I tried last night, but in the cold light of morning, I realized that this had not worked at all. Had it worked it would have raised the question of whether this process could be repeated on multiple Xbox 360s, resulting in Xbox Live Arcade games on each that could be played by anyone. If so, this would seem like it would make casual piracy possible. But (i) this may not be possible, and (ii) Microsoft may have calculated that isn’t likely to be a very big issue given that repeating this process multiple times is likely to be flagged by the Xbox Live service.

Interestingly, the MS supervisor I spoke to last evening said that this process had not worked before, which is why they had to credit people with points to repurchase games. It now works for all but a few pieces of downloadable content, although it is not described on the Xbox.com website. He said that for downloads where this process does not work, they will manually sync the DRM of the download with the new console, but that this process takes as long as 30 days.

When I called again today to report the failure of this process, I was told that that the license information would have to be re-keyed to my new console and that process would take 30 days. Annoyingly, Xbox Live Support refused to send any confirmation in writing or electronically of this promise.

Note: updated to reflect the failure of the initially suggested solution.

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2 Comments
  1. Unknown permalink

    Omg, I’m so having this same issue. I’ve now filed a formal complaint with the State of Washington Attorney General’s Office, and will be filing a formal class action lawsuit quite soon regarding this problem if XBox Live doesn’t give me a viable resolution immediately. I’ve now made 13 phone calls, been hung up on 4 times, transferred to 6 "supervisors", and not one single one of them will actually help me fix this problem. I keep getting told "just redownload it, it will work". I’m also considering crossing the lake (Lake Washington) with my spouse on Wednesday when she goes to work (AT MICROSOFT) and hanging out all day on campus with really big annoying signs, meanwhile calling every local media rag around.Here’s the saga from my first calls:http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=57292594

  2. Benjamin permalink

    I had this problem also. I download updates and XBLA games at work, then take the console home to play. When I had the red ring of death, I waited on my new console like a good boy. My solution after receiving my new console was to just download the XBLA games again. No deletion, no Gamertag recovery needed. Just downloading them again (which doesn’t really download again, it moves way to fast to do that) just resynched my games DRM with the new console. A call to xbox support confirmed this option.

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