Microsoft promises a month's free Xbox LIVE for Cloud Saved Games downtime

Microsoft has promised one-month of free Xbox LIVE Gold service to any gamers affected by the Cloud Saved Games system going offline, having finally fixed the issues that caused the unexpected downtime. The free service extension, which will be applied automatically to eligible gamers' accounts according to Microsoft's Major Nelson, will be tagged onto the end of current subscriptions.

"We want to thank all of our Xbox LIVE members impacted by the Cloud Saved Games service issue for your patience and understanding" Xbox LIVE general manager Alex Garden said in a statement today. "It took longer than we expected to get back to full performance as we needed to ensure the integrity of everyone's game saves. Whether you couldn't access your game saves for a couple of hours or a couple of days, we sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience."

Gamers discovered the problems with Xbox LIVE service last Friday, which prevented those who had their saved game status stored in the cloud from picking up where they'd last left off on the Xbox 360. Others reported issues reaching

Microsoft hasn't said exactly what the problem was, though according to Garden the company's engineers will "be doing a thorough post mortem to help prevent this from happening again." If you had trouble, Microsoft says it knows who you are and will apply the Xbox LIVE freebie automatically, with no need to call up and request it.