Xbox Live Gamertags will soon come with an expiration date

If you're one of the millions of people who have a Gamertag through Xbox Live, you should know that soon they'll come with expiration dates. Starting September 15, any Gamertag that goes five years without being used will expire, re-entering the pool of available Gamertags for anyone to claim. With the Xbox brand turning 15 years old in November, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, and now we have a date for when the policy concerning Gamertags will change.

Of course, this won't be an issue for most people who are actually interested in keeping their Gamertag, as it only requires a sign in once every five years. Instead, Microsoft is looking to reclaim idle Gamertags from people who have long since abandoned the Xbox platform, as it's done a couple of times in the past. The last time Microsoft reclaimed a bunch of Gamertags was just a few months ago, but those were leftover names from the original Xbox era, so they had been sitting idle far longer than five years.

It sounds like you won't even need a console to keep your Gamertag, as Microsoft's updated Terms of Service say that users must sign into Xbox Services once every five years to prevent the loss of their usernames. Presumably, that means you can log into Xbox Live's website to keep your Gamertag, though if you don't own an Xbox, we're not sure why you'd want to. Some people just like to watch the world burn, we suppose.

It's worth noting that if you currently have a Gamertag you're not happy with, Microsoft does allow you to change it. The change is free for users who had a Gamertag automatically generated for them when they started using Xbox Live, though all others have to pay a fee. If the Gamertag you wanted when you signed up wasn't available, it might soon be worth considering paying the fee to change things up.

SOURCE: Eurogamer