Xbox 360 Live Avatar Gun Ban
An announcement was made shortly before the New Year in which gun wielding avatars will be no more. As of January 1, 2012, all “gun-like” weapons will be yanked from the Marketplace with the assumption Microsoft may be in pursuit of a more family oriented game center (or the folks at Microsoft could have realized that allowing avatar guns goes against their own Avatar TOS).
A post by Will Kinsler, Community Manager of of Epic Games proclaimed, “Heads up! Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, the Lancer and Hammerburst avatar items will no longer be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you’ve purchased the items prior to Jan. 1, you will be able to keep them. A new policy goes into effect for all gun-like avatar items on the Marketplace, so get them while they’re hot.”
This raises some questions as members of Xbox Live that already have purchased the two guns mentioned in the quote above, along with other miscellaneous arsenal offered by past titles are able to keep them. What difference could it make to the Live community whether guns are shown or not?
In an article published by Geekwire.com, Todd Bishop sent an inquiry to Microsoft in regards to the changes, and received this statement:
“Xbox LIVE Marketplace has updated its policies to provide further clarity for third-party publishers submitting content for approval. This includes details about weapons such as firearms. Xbox LIVE has always reserved the right to reject or expire from the marketplace any type of weapon prop content that is deemed unsuitable for its general audience. Because the Xbox LIVE Marketplace is accessible to members of all ages, it is important our policies clearly address what content is available to all. This policy provides additional clarity to publishers in advance of the content review process.”
No official statement in regards to this decision from Microsoft has been made public at this point.