“Nearly one million” inactive Xbox Live Gamertags will be released for the public’s use by Microsoft on Wednesday May 18th at 11am PST. This is because there are many names that a lot of gamers want being claimed by inactive users.

Microsoft have told us that many of the Gamertags that are being released were ones used by the original Xbox users that never migrated over to the Xbox 360 or future generations. Therefore, making that Gamertag inactive.

“No other console gives you the ability to customize your virtual representation and make your experience more social with easy-to-change Gamertags,” Microsoft said in a statement. “Many of the best and most desirable Gamertags were unavailable…until now. We’ve listened to your feedback and once again Team Xbox is excited to announce the release of a large number of previously unavailable Gamertags!”

(Source of quote: ar12gaming.com)

Some of these desirable Gamertags come under the lists of either:
Types of Food
Animals
Math and Numbers
Inventions
Travel
Proper Names
Pop Culture References
Science

Overall, I think this is a good move by Microsoft, as not only are they keeping the fans happy by giving them what they want, they are also probably going to make a lot of money from the name changes as each one costs around $15.

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