An update on my Xbox Live problem
So, after making a little bit of noise on the interwebs following my last blog post – including some Twitter rallying and a mention on the blog of the esteemed Game Junkie – I ended up receiving a personal response from Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb.
He reached out to me on Twitter and invited me to write him by email to discuss my problem. I did so and promptly received an auto-reply advising me that, due to the exceedingly large volume of emails that he receives, he may not be able to respond to mine personally. At this point, I feared his grand gesture on Twitter may have disintegrated at the final hurdle. But to my surprise, I heard back from him no more than five minutes later.
Major Nelson’s since asked me not to paste his email verbatim, which I’ve agreed to out of respect. I will paraphrase what he wrote to me. But first, for context, here’s what I wrote – a brief summary of my problem that, as it transpires, also affects a sizable expat community around the world:
Hi there, Larry.
First, please let me offer my sincere thanks for reaching out – I do realize you’re not the helpdesk, and so I appreciate that you’ve personally responded.
I’m not sure if you read my blog about the problem I’ve encountered, and I’m far from the first to encounter it, so I’m sure you’re aware of it. There’s no account-region migration offered on the Xbox Live service – not even for those who’ve legitimately relocated to another country. I recently moved to Seattle from New Zealand and, for reasons I’m sure you can appreciate, I’m loath to turn my back on the Xbox Live profile that I’ve built and invested time, money and more into over the last five years.
However, I do wish to take advantage of the excellent entertainment services that are offered to those who live in this region. As it stands, the only way for me to do so while also retaining my original profile and everything that is tied to it (game unlocks and the like) is to pay for two Gold accounts. It’s far from ideal, and I just feel it shouldn’t even come to that.
For whatever reason, Xbox has decided to disallow region migration. I guess I would just like to know why this isn’t possible. Surely, if someone can prove that they’ve legitimately relocated, it could be done? Perhaps there is a reason as to why it’s not possible, but I just cannot find it anywhere, and Support has been unable to advise me as to why it’s the case – only that it is the case.
Thanks again for your time, Larry. Have a great weekend
Major Nelson’s response was courteous enough, but I still feel like he hasn’t answered my question adequately There was no explanation as to why migration isn’t offered other than the suggestion that it’s not supported by the Xbox Live infrastructure as it currently stands. I find that extremely difficult to swallow, though, as I know that region migration has been offered to certain regions in the past.
I understand that his hands are probably tied on this one. I do feel like he genuinely understands my frustration and wants to help out, but I also feel like he can’t say too much due to red tape
If there’s one positive to take away from our exchange, it’s that Major Nelson says Xbox Live acknowledges that region migration is something they want to offer, and that they know they should offer it. He says that, as soon as there’s something to announce on this front, he’ll be sure to spread the word via his blog, where most Xbox Live-specific announcements are made.
It’s not the most satisfying of news, but it’s nice to finally have some acknowledgement of the problem and the knowledge that something is in the pipeline.