Way back when you first got your gamertag, you might've been excited to score such a perfect username for the Xbox. It fit you completely. But now you've been in college and homework has been piling high and you've been unable to play your Xbox in a while. Well, now time away from your Xbox could mean losing your gamertag.
Microsoft announced today some upcoming changes for its service agreement, and it states,
You must sign into Xbox Services at least once in a five-year period. Otherwise you may lose access to the gamertag associated with your account and that gamertag may become available for use by others."
On the plus side, signing in at least once in a five-year period isn't really asking a lot. Even if you are going through something pretty time consuming for a couple years and need to step away for a bit, as long as it's under five years, you're still good to go.
I first acquired my awesome gamertag on my Xbox 360 back in 2009 and used it all the way up until two years ago when I traded it in for a PlayStation 4. But because of this new agreement, technically my username is still mine for another three years or so.
Freeing up inactive gamertags can be seen as a positive thing, for it allows active users to nab the usernames they want instead of the name disappearing forever after one person claims it. I don't disagree with the new process; I actually think it's pretty fair considering if someone is inactive on Xbox for five years, they probably aren't going to be using their Xbox anymore, so why let them keep their gamertag? Or maybe there are people like me who traded in their Xbox but didn't cancel their account and their gamertag is just hanging around out there somewhere in the universe.
According to GameSpot, earlier this year Xbox released over one million gamertags to a select group of Xbox Live players claiming that they were inactive. So this move by Xbox was bound to happen sooner or later.
So if you'd like to keep your Xbox gamertag and it's been awhile since you logged in, you might want to make a point to log-in again, just to be sure.