One of the cool features of XBox Live on your Windows Phone is the ability to pull your avatar into the mix. We see it in the gaming hub and featured on Xbox Live games such as Shuffle Party and now games like PES 2012 will even award 'em for gameplay--obviously they're becoming more and more important on WP7.
One customization component of your avatar is the ability to purchase and add props. We've seen everything from a light saber to a limited-edition Windows Phone prop available for your avatar to tinker. According to various reports online, one prop class will be gone with the wind starting January 1, 2012.
According to a post over at the Epic Games Forums (Gears of War):
Heads up! Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, the Lancer and Hammerburst avatar items will no longer be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you’ve purchased the items prior to Jan. 1, you will be able to keep them. A new policy goes into effect for all gun-like avatar items on the Marketplace, so get them while they’re hot.
There are already restrictions on your avatar prohibiting violence that causes blood, gore, dismemberment, decapitation, maiming or mutilation as well as prohibitions on sexual acts, allowing the avatar to excrete obscene bodily fluids or substances and acts of aggressive or threatening manners. Reportedly, Microsoft will be amending this policy to prohibit "gun-like" avatar items on the Marketplace as well.
Some of these props, due to licensing issues, won't transfer over to your Windows Phone and you may not be impacted by this new policy as a result. Still, it seems ridiculous that we can shoot up enemy troops, blast alien hordes, and have our avatar wield a light saber that can slice through flesh as it was butter but our avatars can't carry a toy gun? What do you folks think: good idea to appeal to the masses (with children) or is Microsoft trying too hard to be like Nintendo? We've already seen their green-blood and "adult content" policy take its toll--is Microsoft going too far?