December 31st 2012 12:22 am PT

Thank you for your patience

I wanted to update everyone that the Xbox LIVE Cloud Saved Games feature is back online. The Xbox Operations team has been working around the clock to get the issues resolved. I also wanted to pass along the below note from Alex Garden and let you know what we’re doing for those that were affected by the issue.

We want to thank all of our Xbox LIVE members impacted by the Cloud Saved Games service issue for your patience and understanding. It took longer than we expected to get back to full performance as we needed to ensure the integrity of everyone’s game saves. Whether you couldn’t access your game saves for a couple of hours or a couple of days, we sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience. We will be automatically applying a one-month extension to the Xbox LIVE Gold memberships of everyone who was impacted. We can assure you we’ll also be doing a thorough post mortem to help prevent this from happening again.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Game on!

Alex Garden
Email: Alex dot Garden at Microsoft dot com
General Manager, Xbox LIVE

BTW: You don’t need to call support for your free month. We know exactly who was affected and we’ll handle all of this on our end.

I wanted to share an update for members affected by the Xbox LIVE Cloud Saved Games service issue at the end of the year and thank you for your patience as we’ve worked through the logistics of applying a free month of Xbox LIVE Gold to eligible accounts. As mentioned previously, we know who was impacted and have started applying the free one-month extension. This only includes member accounts that attempted to access cloud saved games between 12/28/12 and 12/30/12 and received an error message. This is a rollout and we expect to be finished by the end of the month. When we’ve completed this work, we will send a LIVE message to everyone who was impacted. There is no need to contact customer support. Again, we want to thank all of our Xbox LIVE members impacted by this service issue for your patience and understanding

Final Update:
Good news all, we’ve completed deployment of the free month of Xbox LIVE Gold for our members affected by the Cloud Saved Games service issue between 12/28/12 and 12/30/12. At this time, any other questions should be directed to a special forum on this topic. As a reminder, don’t call support if you have questions as you’ll be redirected to this forum. Thanks again to everyone for your patience as we worked through the service issue itself and the deployment of the free month.
(Posted: 31, January 2013)



Xbox 360, Xbox Live By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Hassan Bokhari

    That’s awesome, it did take longer than expected but I’m glad you guys it done :).

  • Ken C

    I’m interested to see if I get the free month. I’m the primary account on my family’s family plan. Also I was affected by this and was not able to access my cloud storage. Time will tell I guess.

    • theConstruct

      I have the same inquiry?

    • Jason Coombes

      Yes I’m interested in this too as it only affected one child account within my Family Xbox Live Gold group where as another child account it was still working.

  • BannedClan

    how do you get the one month? my cloud was down for 2 weeks!

  • Kenny

    It was horrible! I’m glad it’s fixed!

  • Mackenzie Watson

    Mine was down for a couple of days but my error had a different code than that of what I saw or heard. Will this pose a problem? I’m not sure if my cloud is working yet either…. Just checked my cloud is back on. But my error code was 83860012….

  • chris

    Have not used cloud before. Is it slower to get the save than being on the xbox?

    • theConstruct

      The save does not get ‘moved’ to the cloud. The games still access the local HDD. Think of the cloud as an online/offsite backup. It provides two advantages. If your HDD fails your saves are safe. and if you sign into another console you will have access to your saves. The down side is. Indie games cannot access the cloud, If the could goes down again or your internet goes out you will have to move/copy the save out of the cloud to use it.
      So to answer your question, no, it is not slower.

      • Andrew Timson

        The save are “moved” to the cloud if you have multiple cloud users on the machine, or if something else wipes your local cache. Only the last 512 MB of cloud saves (from all users) are kept on the Xbox, and everything else is “cloud only”.

        • theConstruct

          The saves are not moved. They are copied/backed-up. And the last update gave 512MB to each user. The only time a save is cloud only is when you move/delete the save while disconnected.

  • 90180360

    I must say you handle this really well and I’m actually glad that I’m paying for Xbox LIVE because I know that this is an incentive for you to keep up an excellent service.

    • Willy McBurgle

      Next time a Microsoft employee plants a fake booster comment – at least try and pick a legit name.

  • theConstruct

    Having the cloud has been super handy, but getting back to local just so I could use it was a PITA. I want to know what happened and what the Xbox team is going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    • D.J. Harbaugh

      They certainly need to make it more seamless for when the service might be unavailable. If my Internet is out, the OS should be smart enough to use the local copy and sync to the cloud at the first opportunity. Of course the user needs to be smart enough to know the peril of doing this if they’re coming from another console.

  • Earthbound_X

    Oh, so that explains who my 360 was bringing up Cloud Storage, even though I turned it off.

  • ryder4life22187

    I’m surprised that many people use the service. Not sure what the real benefit is unless you need to back up a save file like skyrim. Regardless MS should give the people that were affected a better incentive for the issue. Always with the 1 month why don’t they just give them at least 3 months makes more sense.

    • PicasoTrigger

      we have more than one console, I use cloud saves for games I’ll be playing on more than the family room system.

    • EnerJi

      Have you never had a hard drive fail on you? Maybe I’m not like most people, but I tend to play multiple games at a time over LONG periods of time, and a hard drive failure for me would be a traumatic experience. Xbox Cloud Saves gives me comfort that if my Xbox HD ever fails, my save games are still safely stored in the cloud.

      • ryder4life22187

        I’ve had one hard drive that died on me on the computer. I do play multiple games just like you over a period of time. But not to worried about the save games maybe to used to growing up with not being able to save on most games. I do ask does it work good though as i’ve heard of a few people here in there that the cloud caused their save to get corrupted.

        • EnerJi

          I’ve used it for every save game across more than half a dozen games since the feature launched, and until this weekend’s outage I had yet to experience a problem.

    • mcmax3000

      It was one feature of the service that was down for a couple of days. I’d say one month is being pretty generous.

      It was definitely annoying not being able to access the majority of my saves (thankfully I have a game that I’ve been playing a lot that uses too much space to save in the cloud, so I could just play that), but it wasn’t a big enough issue that they owe me three months of free service.

  • Dan Etheridge

    I used to use cloud storage until one day it went down, then I realised the effect this could have, for times like mentioned in this post. So glad I copied it all to my hard-drive.

    • Jason Coombes

      A shame you were put off so easily. You do realise that in outages like this you can still go into ‘system’ –> “Storage’ and still access ‘Cloud Storage’ to then move back to the local HDD? The Cloud Storage feature was implemented very well as it uses SkyDrive type technology; saves are still loaded from a ‘cache’ area on the HDD then sync to the cloud when you are done. Moving them off the cloud, even in an outage like this, then just moves them out of this cache area back to the normal place on the HDD.
      I did exactly this for my 8yo’s Lego LOTR save during this outage. Now it’s fixed I’ll just move it back.
      @MajorNelson: A detailed post on all this from you or a guest post from the cloud team would help inform the community greatly I feel. This is a very misunderstood feature.

      • RicardoDawkins

        I did like you said. Helped me advance on Dust Elysian Tail with this outgoing issue. Skydrive is just incredible.

  • Manuel I. Bueno

    I couldn’t access my cloud for a day or two; this is neat. :3

  • dibils

    i tried to access it and couldnt (to back up my gears 3 profile). will i get the 1 month free Gold? :P

  • vivalajam26

    That’s cool, I didn’t even know there was an issue with the cloud. So will the free month go to ALL users, both free and gold? Also will it only go to people who have stuff on their cloud?

    • mcmax3000

      Why on earth would they give a month of service to Silver members who can’t access the feature that was down?

    • theConstruct

      Access to the cloud is limited to paid gold users. From the article: “We know exactly who was affected and we’ll handle all of this on our end.”

  • Rick Fisher

    That’s pretty nice to know. I was really angry when I bought the revert pack for THPS HD and then my cloud storage kept coming up with errors so I couldn’t play. Cloud storage should work more like it does on PS+, primarily local but uploads or downloads from cloud when available. It should not be 100% cloud for these exact reasons

    • Andrew Timson

      It effectively works like that; it keeps all of your saved games cached locally, even after they’re uploaded. So if it went offline, you could still have moved the save from the cache back to your hard drive and continued playing.

      PS3’s model is more explicit, but it also makes playing on multiple consoles much more difficult (whereas the 360 version makes playing on multiple consoles easy and you have to do a bit more work when the cloud is down). Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  • Mainer82

    While I think it’s great that MS is going to give people a free month, this is the reason as to why I don’t use cloud services… I would have been upset if I could not access a game save.

  • Joel Savoy

    Yeah, I’m not gonna hold my breathe on that. Good thing I had some new games from Christmas to start and wasn’t put out too much.

  • A.J. Minotti

    I know this is going to sound a bit whiny, but upon hearing about the cloud save issue, I just decided not to use my Xbox until it was resolved. I’m guessing that means no free month for me.

    • Dorothy Rich

      Same here. I have 2 accounts uses cloud saves for different games, when I saw a status that it was down, and a friend told me he had issues, I didnt bother to try to use mine

  • Kevin baybutt

    What happens with folks that have the family plan? I was affected but my wifes was not? You cant just add a month to one account on the family plan without creating a gap in service for the rest of the people on the plan

  • EnerJi

    Good on Microsoft for making it right without forcing people to call in and argue for compensation. However, what I want to know is when will Microsoft allow more than 512 Mb of cloud storage? 512 Mb is a ridiculously small amount of storage.

  • CXK

    I didnt expect this. I was pretty majorly impacted. I sat down for a day of playing after a year of working a full time and part time job, I figured I’d catch up. All my saves were in the cloud since i have multiple 360s in house so game time was cancelled, lol. I asked @xboxsupport about it but was surprised to see it took so long to be fixed. So it was a day of BLOPS2 and Halo 4 since saves dont matter much for online games.

    I didnt get a month yet..I assume it will take some time? Thanks MS. At least when you do some Sony-like flubs you fix it quickly and make it up to us.

    • D.J. Harbaugh

      That’s what we pay for honestly. Sony can get away with it behind the “we don’t charge anything” excuse. Its also why Live is a way better service, MS is infinitely more accountable since people pay for the service.

  • Zanpher

    Do you know when this will be applied?

  • 李 察

    No idea if I was affected but just wanted to say thank you and Happy New Year.

  • moggle69

    Now if you guys would only increase our memory limits.

  • Lukas

    Yay ! Microshit giving you 30 days extra access for feature that should be free in the 1st place ! Multiplayer lol

  • Willy McBurgle

    Thank you for your patience – Xbox Live is now free.

    • fsdfg dsfds

      They better make online play free soon, no way im sticking with xbox next gen if they still charging

      • Ruben

        what im really looking for in new consoles its the ability to play this gen games on the new consoles, if the new xbox has this im gonna buy it no doubt, but if it doesnt i will buy anything else sony offers, they habe sticked to the hardcore base with great exclusives(not tha im saying microsoft doesnt have any but they dont care anymore about that) and cause of the free online, and they give you the option to pay for great discounts and they throw games for that subscription.And nintendo its out of this equation for me, i not much of a fan for their exclusives, i hear there is too much of a hassle to play online cause of the codes and all, and i dont see how i am going to convince my friends to buy a wiiu.

        • Ruben

          And another big reason for me to go to sony, they keep releasing exclusive

  • Willy McBurgle


  • dadditude

    How will the free month be handled for those with Family plans?

  • Russell Gorall

    “If you think you were affected and we didn’t know it, you weren’t. Welcome to Microsoft, home of Zune and Windows 8. Trust us.”

  • Brian Hylton

    I’m fed up with the antiquated 360 (I’ve had FOUR RROD consoles); and feel disrespected as a customer. Microsoft is merely milking every last drop of 360’s success. Meanwhile keeping its loyal fanbase from a far superior gaming landscape available (on Linux/PC) today.

    What do, Major, what’s the news? Why keep the inevitable secret? Why should I wait for the next box instead of building my own Steam-box?

    • Russell Gorall

      Not to mention you are getting better versions of the game, more often than not, on the Steam platform for a better price. The deals on Steam and PC in general, much less mobile, are astounding.

      That being said, I have bought three 360’s and two PS3’s. I am a glutton for punishment.

  • D.J. Harbaugh

    Very much appreciate the compensation without the need to request it. I store my saves in the cloud to ensure my accessibility to them, and when I couldn’t get them the other night (in the middle of a GamerScore competition no less!) I was not happy.

    I’m curious as to the root cause, and would like to know when you guys do, what happened. To be making changes during the holiday season when you probably just had a million new Xboxes accessing the service can’t be in the Ops handbook I would think.

  • Derek Slenk

    I am just glad I wasn’t crazy and thinking I was the only person that had this issue

  • Bre Fujimoto

    Kame……. HAME……..

  • Mathew Ruybal

    Since I can’t seem to find a place to put this, it shall go here: I own the Collector’s Ed. of Halo 4 and missed out on the temporary free versions of the Crimson Map Pack due to being super sick and not online for a few days….and I STILL do not have access to the pack without paying full price…any help on how I can resolve this would be much appreciated. Happy New Year Major!!!

    • Russell Gorall

      Well, here in the age of #MicrosoftSucking and #TotallyKnowing@BListCelebrity… good luck.

      You would be better off giving a shout out to a hashtag for Bill Gates left nut.

  • Russell Gorall

    Haven’t got my month of free Gold, I lost a save that I know of. Skyrim level 61, so yeah.

  • Michael Thomson

    its a shame the same wasn’t done when many couldn’t access live for weeks following the most recent dashboard update, with no apologies or even acknowledgement that it happened. The support forums suggest a large number were affected.

  • lahcoe

    “We know exactly who was affected”

    I wish this statement was more specific about how they will be determining which users will be compensated with the free month.

    My concern is that it may only go to those who tried to either upload or use a cloud save and then received an error message.

    Of course, these people weren’t the only ones inconvenienced by the inability to use one of the features they paid a Gold subscription for.

    Many others will have read the message (upon signing in to their Xbox) about not all Live functionality being available and then visited the Status page of the Xbox website for details. Upon discovering that there was a problem with the cloud, they then did the perfectly rational thing and decided not to use the service until it was fixed, even though it (frustratingly) took several days.

    Microsoft, I think you’ve improved the image of Xbox Live recently. Countdown to 2013 was an above-average sale by your standards (the exceptional Walking Dead deals certainly pleased a lot of people) and now this welcome compensation.

    I just hope you don’t ruin it by not treating all users the same, and creating an inevitable backlash.

    Hopefully, what I’ve written here turns out to be misguided, because it was always your intention to treat everyone fairly.

  • Willy McBurgle

    Legal papers enroute.

  • Tyler Beckner

    My end date is the same for my Gold and Cloud messed up my Far Cry 3 save…

  • Legocaptor Live

    Hong Kong users also affected

  • Willy McBurgle

    Your choice.

  • Ruben

    Ive would really like to be ablr to use the local cache on my 360 offlinr and at the first oportunity upload it when online, and be smart enough to know if there has been updates on the files when i turn it off, i do t want to leave the xbox in kinda like stand by after turning it off, i really like to take care of my electric hardware so to speak and dont want to let this console overheat by leaving it like that, cause we know how that turns out for this console.

  • Jani Karjalainen

    My cloud save didn’t work for a week, and my subscription ended yesterday, so no free month for me. Thanks…

  • RSix

    not bad, but why not official news on the xbox main web?

    kind regards -R6

  • Nick Peck

    So it’s only MS’s fault that you can’t trade in Digital Content? Um, what rock have you been under for the past handful of years? It’s the SAME issue for EVERY PLATFORM. If you don’t like the idea of not being able to trade a game in, simply DO NOT buy it online, buy the retail disc, problem solved for you.

    I do agree that DD prices, across ALL platforms need to be cheaper than they are as full price for not having a disc in hand is a rip. At least $5-10 (at most) off, or a decent % off on DD sales would be nice.

    • BostonSup

      I think you are separating his argument when it is actually linked. I think he is saying the same thing your last paragraph says *because* there isn’t as much value to Digital Content. It should be a x amount cheaper because of less consumer value (can’t sell, can’t loan, etc) and because it has less manufacturing costs. Gold memberships are already paying for server costs, plus there are still very costly advertisements riddled throughout the dashboard, so MS hosting costs should not be a factor for their high prices.

      This is a MS website, so he is specifically speaking about his Xbox experience. Ruben, feel free to correct me if I took your comment wrong.

    • Ruben

      when did i just said that microsoft is to blame cause i cant trade in? im just wrote that its better to have the dvd and you can trade it in when you just lose the interest in the game, and its more cheaper to buy the dvd, when did i blame microsoft? im wrote my side against GoD pricing and add another “pro” on having the dvd copy of the game.

  • Nick Peck

    Do you guys use multiple Xbox’s as the reason you use the online save storage? Just wondering because I ONLY copy it to online storage if I’m going to be using another system and then move it back to my Xbox after I’m done.

    I’d never store it online all of the time like that :D Not to mention you can make 32gb partitions on a HD / USB key to move stuff around on. The online storage option is great, but as with anything in the PC world, always keep a backup!

  • Sam Ward

    How are they going to determine who gets the free month of live ?

    • BostonSup

      They have some way of knowing, but not sure how. That said, if people pay for the service and don’t use it, they are still paying for the service and should get a free month. They really should give a free month to all current (as of the time of outage) Gold users.

      MS is not helping it’s perception of money hungry ways in the console front, but maybe they are trying to make their money up for the extremely horrible and costly design/usability mistake that is their Windows 8, and their surprising (to me) failure of their Surface tablet.

  • BostonSup

    Not to shake things up, but I think if you have not received a month free yet after having difficulties with cloud OR you are a paying gold member who doesn’t use cloud (but pays for it), then you all may want to call 1-800-4-my-xbox.

  • FRAP

    I couldn’t access to the cloud neither. After the cloud was back, I checked the data and I lost the data from Minecraft. I contacted the Xbox Live chat support and they said they were not aware about the one-month extention for people who got impacted. I even sent the link from this blog to the support but the person wanted something from the official website… The person were really kind, but it is sad that the support is not aware at all about it.

  • Virgilio Lopes Torres

    Could be nice if someone can tell us when will we receive the free 1 month!

    I couldn’t play some games ’cause it was not synced with my local HD. When I tried playing some games, none of them had the saves locally. Now I know I had to copy them from the cache to my local HD. Since I am a complete noob, I didn’t realize that the service was off and I thought it was a problem with my HD. So I deleted the synced info from my local HD. So, couldn’t play my games for some days.