Microsoft clarifies stance on deactivating developer accounts
For the past ten days or so, it appeared as if Microsoft might be deactivating inactive accounts for its popular Developer Mode for Xbox consoles and Windows. Today, Director of Project Management at Xbox, Jason Ronald, Tweeted that the deactivations were accidental and they are looking into restoring them. "We have no plans to remove or disable Developer Mode on Xbox consoles," stated Ronald unequivocally. "We continue to believe in and support a healthy independent app and game development community on Xbox." He goes on to say if your account was affected, you can email them at [email protected] to have it restored faster.
Several posts had appeared on social media questioning an email from Microsoft informing them their Developer account has been suspended due to inactivity, usually with at least one other person responding to confirm they also received the email. Last week, reddit user u/The Axodoxian posted an email they received informing them of the suspension, and Twitter user @Nanjizal_net posted the same email on the same day. GBAtemp user @tech3475 also posted a thread on our forums about the same thing.
The email allegedly redirects users to the Code of Conduct for Developer Mode, which does stipulate that Developer accounts need to stay in good standing, including "staying active in the Store," though exactly what defines active or inactive is not specified. The Code of Conduct page has also not been updated since September 28, 2021, so while the policy may have existed for some time, it appears that Microsoft has only recently started to enforce it.
Developer Mode has been popular on the Xbox consoles as it allowed users to run Retroarch and emulators on their Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles with only a small fee required to get a Developer account. Many saw it as a clever way for Microsoft to allow hardcore users to run emulators without the need to modify their consoles, severely limiting the number of people interested in hacking the two most recent Xbox consoles.