The forums trolled by Xbox Live subscribers are thick with accounts of bannings today, with what appears to be a broad sweeping set of Live accounts deleted, keeping thousands from accessing online gaming. At this point, we're not sure of the root cause — and neither, does it appear, do those affected — but there is rampant talk in the Xbox Scene forums, at least, about the abuse of pirated copies of games like Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: World At War. It's all cleaned up "played early" and "back up copy" talk — thinly veiled "I pirated Game X before launch day" — amongst some users.
Others swear innocence and false bannings. Whatever the cause, it's affecting a larger group than normal. We're attempting to learn more from the folks at Microsoft about the current rash of Xbox Live bannings and who is affected.