Microsoft will release over 1 million unused Xbox Live gamer tags back into the wild, including screen names that feature pop culture references, proper names, and more.

Microsoft has announced that close to 1 million Xbox Live gamer tags will go back on the market next week, part of an effort to reinvigorate the online community. Pop culture references, proper names, and some obscure choices are just a few of the categories that are said to be going back into the pool, but no official list has been revealed.

This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has re-released a bunch of Xbox Live gamer tags, but it has to be one of its most substantial offerings. However, it’s unclear how many of these screen names were purchased by individual gamers and how many were scooped up en-mass.

Knowing that there are over 1 million screen names out there that were claimed but never (or rarely) used will be surprising to some. The fact that some gamers simply want to claim gamer tags to prevent others from using them is a disappointing reality of the Internet these days, especially those who “squat” on accounts in the hopes of monetary gain. Take, for example, the Naughty Dog fan that bought a URL hidden in Uncharted 4. He could have easily tried to make money off the site, but instead used it to redirect back to the game.

It will be interesting to see which Xbox Live gamer tags were claimed but never used; we’d bet there are quite a few desirable user names in the bunch. As was mentioned, plenty of proper names were scooped up, so hopefully a Derek or a Lisa is quick on the draw when the gamer tags are re-released.

It’s worth mentioning, though, that Microsoft only allows one free Xbox Live gamer tag switch per account, so think things through before making the change. Ostensibly this will be your new Xbox Live gamer tag for the foreseeable future, so maybe investing in something like MasterChiefFan might not be the wisest of decisions. We have no idea how the rest of the Halo Reclaimer Saga will play out.

microsoft could offer compensation for xbox live downtime

Though Microsoft has offered a free gamer tag switch, followed by paid switches, Sony has yet to go a similar route with PSN screen names. Sony President Shuhei Yoshida has teased that a PSN name change option might be in the works, but thus far the only option is creating a completely new account.

Perhaps if this 1 million gamer tag release is a success – i.e. a bunch of gamers end up changing their names – then it might convince Sony to pursue similar ideas sooner rather than later. For now, stick tuned to Game Rant to find out when the gamer tags will officially go back on the market.

What Xbox Live gamer tag do you hope goes back on the market? What is your ideal Xbox Live gamer tag?

Source: Microsoft