Using an MS Points code generator, a great many gamers were able to make away with some serious Xbox Live cash. By taking the codes from previously redeemed MS Point cards and switching a couple of key numbers, these code generators were able to give their user not only MS Points, but access to Xbox Live Gold and some Halo: Reach goodies.
Though they have been taken down, these code generators nevertheless made a serious dent in Microsoft’s potential revenue. Early reports are claiming that this little “incident” cost Microsoft some 1.2 million dollars. Microsoft has not yet commented on the event, nor have they stated if they will pursue legal action, but one can assume they are more than a little unhappy at the moment.
Though MS Points are not technically money, they are a monetary representation within the world of Xbox Live. Therefore, any user of these code generators can be considered, in the eyes of Microsoft, a thief.
Yes, they were simply exploiting a system that Microsoft itself put in place, but that doesn’t mean cheating the company out of so much money is going to go without consequences. Microsoft will surely seek compensation for the crimes committed against them, and this little incident might also force the company to reevaluate the MS Points system altogether.
To many gamers, the idea of MS Points has never really made sense. By forcing a gamer to purchase points in various bundle packages, and pricing games so that they do not necessarily match up with those bundles, Microsoft has essentially found a way to keep the gamer spending.
While points aren’t entirely a bad thing, there are certainly better ways of funding online purchases. Along with the idea of points, though, comes the idea that they aren’t really money. Because of this, Microsoft can offer points for participation in surveys, or even sell them at a lower price at retail locations. The MS Points idea isn’t all-bad, it just has a few flaws that make some gamers apprehensive to wholly adopting it.
Many will be quick to say that this situation serves Microsoft right, and that this proves once and for all that MS Points should be done away with. That doesn’t take away from the fact that serious potential money was lost here, and that loss is going to have consequences.
What sort of repercussions do you think Microsoft will bring down on those who created or used the code generators? Do you think this will be the end of MS Points?