Microsoft Is Releasing One Million Recycled Xbox Gamertags On May 18th

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Have you ever spent hours crafting the perfect online user name, only to discover it had already been claimed? Thankfully, Xbox Live users will now have more choices. Microsoft will release nearly one million Gamertags on Wednesday, May 18th at 2pm (EST). They will be available to Xbox Live Gold members with active subscriptions and at least one year of cumulative Xbox Live Gold tenure.

The Gamertags will be released over a 24-period so that Xbox Live Gold members in different countries will have an equal chance of claiming one. Xbox Live policy permits one free Gamertag change request in a user’s lifetime, after which they have to pay $10 for a swap. Members are encouraged to keep checking out the website for new names throughout Wednesday.

While there are no specific details yet, the Gamertags will include proper names, pop culture references, types of food, geography and travel, science and technology, math and numbers, animals, and “some of the greatest inventions of all time.” Some possible names include Nostradamus, GrilledCheese, and Nintendo.

These Gamertags are from accounts that were abandoned during the original Xbox era and never migrated over to the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005 and the console’s servers went offline in 2010. The Gamertags were never used to log onto either newer consoles or through Microsoft’s Web-browser interface.

The newly-released Gamertags will be available on Xbox Live Gold members can also access these Gamertags within the Xbox App on Windows 10 and on the Xbox One console. Xbox 360 owners will need to use, the Xbox App on Windows 10, or an Xbox One, since these Gamertags never migrated over to the Xbox 360.

If you are uncertain about your Xbox Live Gold tenure, you can view your Profile on an Xbox One console or on the Xbox App on Windows 10. These new Gamertags will not affect your Gamerscore, Achievements, or your Friends list.