Innocent bystanders get hurt in every war. In Microsoft's war on online cheating, those victims are sports game fans that make and share customized rosters online.5WG
did some digging and found that the latest Microsoft dashboard update
stealthily disables hundreds of customized rosters that are shared on unofficial sites like 360gamesaves
. Apparently, the new update checks all save files against a list of banned system IDs
extracted from sharing sites. Files from banned systems will not work on other systems.
Why does Microsoft care whose save files you use on your machine? We can only assume the move is an effort to stop players from getting Achievements without earning them by using downloaded save files. This is somewhat understandable -- Achievements are good for both bragging rights
and real freebies
, and it's important to keep that playing field level.
The side effect, though, is the destruction of a small but vibrant community of players using these game saves to extend the value of their sports games. As 5WG points out, "there's no cheat here: just a group of people giving back to the community for little or no compensation."
Hopefully Microsoft will come up with a solution that protects their Achievement system and allows for a healthy roster trading community at the same time.