Questions about GTAIV new content and the XBL Terms of Use

I’ve gotten some questions about the new Grand Theft Auto IV content to be released in the future called “The Ballad of Gay Tony” and what it means in regards to the prohibition against expressing relationship preference in Gamertags or profiles.

I’m going to start off by reminding everyone we certainly recognize people want the ability to self identify, and we are working on that capability to try and provide it in a way that’s beneficial and can’t be misused.

Having said that, remember that Marketplace and Game content, etc typically comes with a rating, synopsis, and information that you have to go to the marketplace to seek. 

The Code of Conduct policy, inelegant as it is, is specific to user generated text content: Gamertags and profiles.  Remember, the CoC *does* allow you to express vocally on the service your relationship preference.  People are getting this wrong, and saying all instances of the word “Gay” for instance, are forbidden from all of Xbox LIVE therefore this new DLC represents a violation.  That’s not the case. I appreciate the appearance of a disconnect here, but actually there isn’t.

As an aside, there’s other content in GTAIV that likewise would not be allowed in a Gamertag or profile.  There are quotes from movies you can obtain on marketplace that are not allowed in Gamertags or profiles. Rated, purchasable content has all sorts of technical rules and restrictions as to what type of accounts can view them (child or regular for instance), location limitations, synopsis and plot summary etc that Gamertags and profiles do not currently have.

Again, in regards to the current policy on relationship preference, we’ve heard loud and clear and are working with a variety of internal and external groups on how we address that for our customers *and* prevent misuse.  I hope to be talking more about that soon.

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