Here’s the thing about blackmailing: It doesn’t work on everyone. There’s a famous story about the KGB trying to blackmail the President of Indonesia with a secret sextape they had taken, but his response was to ask for a copy of it to show people back in his country to brag about the beautiful Russian women he had bedded.
When a guy named Gamecheat was able to download an early version of Halo Wars 2 from the Microsoft Store, he started by releasing part of the soundtrack.
It’s sort of like when they kidnap somebody and then send their ear or finger to the family.
“Clearly trying to blackmail a billion-dollar corporation isn’t gonna happen” – Gamecheat
Rather than just gain a bit of notoriety, this guy made some really foolish threats. He told Microsoft he would leak the story version of the game, and threatened to start selling copies of the game if they didn’t return his banned account.
“I don’t really understand what my Xbox One has to do with ripping files from a PC game but alright.” – Gamecheat
Even though this all took place on a PC, and he didn’t even have to log into any of his numerous Xbox Live accounts in order to exploit the bug that allowed him to download Halo Wars 2 early, Microsoft’s response was still to ban his Live accounts. Every. Single. One.
“Back when I first posted the leaks of the soundtrack I promised I wouldn’t leak any story related material. Then later one I posted that copyright strike and ask Microsoft if they wanted the story ruined. That could be threatening in hindsight but it did do a good job testing the waters.” – Gamecheat.
He released a long statement about how he doesn’t understand why his Microsoft accounts were banned, that turns into a ‘poor me’ as he talks about his losses and how unfair this is, but ultimately the guy realizes he messed up. He was going to just leave it all alone after the initial ban, but started to rage after calculating how much time and money he’d spend on Live, for games he could no longer access.