Microsoft is selling an adult game on Xbox, and it will ban you if you take screenshots (Update: unbans coming)

Update, April 6, 2018: Previously I stated that you could get automatically banned even if you didn't share the screenshots publically, but it's unclear whether or not that is the case as I've been given conflicting reports. At the very least, Microsoft should disable screenshot sharing by default for Mature-rated games, rather than banning innocent people who were unaware of the auto-uploading oversight.

Update, April 6, 2018: Xbox CVP Mike Ybarra tweeted some additional information, stating that Microsoft is working to improve the situation for users who want to share content on Xbox Live. Microsoft is investigating to see if any affected users were banned unfairly.

Update, April 7, 2018: We're seeing reports that affected users are now being unbanned.

Original article:

Microsoft's NSFW-shy enforcement mechanisms have been banning people from Xbox Live for screenshotting a game on Xbox Live, known as Metropolis: Lux Obscura.

Metropolis: Lux Obscura (opens in new tab) is a $7.99 match-3 style puzzle game which intersects with a Sin City-style noir comic book, featuring many many racy scenes. It sports the "Mature +17" ESRB rating for violence, blood, drug references, strong language, nudity, and sexual content.

Related: How to disable Xbox One clip and screenshot sharing on Xbox Live

Players using the Xbox to take screenshots or video clips using Microsoft's own Xbox Game DVR have been finding, however, that doing so can land you with hefty bans (thanks, K4rn4ge) on Xbox Live for "pornographic content."

It's unfair of me to call it hypocritical, but at the very least Metropolis: Lux Obscura raises inadequacies in Xbox Live's banning mechanisms, which are effectively entrapping people for using Xbox systems on Xbox games, without an effective warning of rule violation.

Microsoft has an extensive code of conduct (opens in new tab) list buried somewhere in its website, but it would seem far more logical to simply either block Game DVR on games that Microsoft finds embarrassing, or add a "NSFW" content blocker option filter across Xbox Live. At least warn people that using Xbox Live systems on Xbox-approved games can get you banned.

Metropolis features a non-linear noir plot, crammed with NSFW scenes. And Microsoft doesn't like it (despite selling it to you...)

Metropolis features a non-linear noir plot, crammed with NSFW scenes. And Microsoft doesn't like it (despite selling it to you...)

Hilariously, Metropolis: Lux Obscura is available not only on Steam, but even the family-friendly Nintendo Switch, and neither of those platforms have been handing out bans for playing and sharing the game that I can find.

This issue has been raised before on other Xbox games with adult themes, so I doubt it'll be fixed or improved any time soon. But until it does, take this is a PSA word of caution: be careful when you take screenshots of Xbox games, Microsoft's banning systems are very prudish.

See Metropolis: Lux Obscura at Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Sounds ridiculous. Agree MS should either disable DVR function for these type of games or make it so images can not be shared. At the very least a real time warning should pop up notifying the user that the picture they just took could result in a ban and give them the option to delete.
  • What utter nonsense! Besides the fact this is massively hypocritical and, as you say, essentially entrapment, people should be able to save whatever the hell they want on their own system. If they start sharing it, that could be a different matter, but what business of Microsoft's is it what people store on a personal damn hard disc? Draconian bollocks! For shame Microsoft.
  • I'm starting to worry that they may try to pull such crap with enforcement of their new ToS on OneDrive, Office and Skype, too. And that would mean, they would at the very least have an AI scanning every file people upload and every conversation on Skype people may have. Beyond creepy.
  • Does the game still work if you disconnect the network? If not then getting out of the network before doing my of that stuff might be a way around that, I mean your profile has to be able to download the game so I wonder if this is all too protect the children...or that game should just be brought down, no?
  • In any case, everyone is over reacting and needs to chill
  • It's stupid that you can get banned in the first place. Microsoft should set up systems that block NSFW content from younger gamers, rather than ban people for ... using their features on games they're selling. The ban is social, you can still access games and content.
  • Or perhaps we could all just make a big attempt to get over all this silliness. Honestly, why so much fuss over a naked body when I can capture a shot of a nuke going off in FO4 without comment? Society be crazy. Let's hope at some point in this mad attempt to automate the craziness they realise how looney it has become and we all finally turn the corner towards sanity.
  • It's a problem in the US for sure in regards to nudity and sex. There was/is the whole controversy with instagram now allowing nipples in pictures BUT only women's nipples.
  • If we ever invent AI it'll either be totally insane and spend most of its time worrying whether its rivets are showing or not... or it'll exterminate us all.
  • The US is now trying to get into law where all sex talk equals sex trafficking (which is caused by vague wording in the law), which means big penalties, for anyone. So much for freedom of speech or press. It's ridiculous, considering our love of guns. Why should I be allowed to see a body blown apart, but not penitrated?
  • To be fair, this is a real issue and MS got to have a look at this thing. If no one talks about it, MS wouldn't do anything.
  • Real quick, it's important to be factual, the game is published and sold by Microsoft or is JUST in the store? Just because it is in the store doesn't mean that they are peddling it, only that the developer and publisher were able to get it "on shelves"
  • Every game on Xbox Live is vetted and approved by Microsoft, intensively, and Microsoft takes a significant cut in sales. So yes, Microsoft is selling it.
  • You can explode heads and tear of limbs in tons of games, but don't you dare look at a nice butt or some ****, you animal.
  • Where is Larry Flynt when we need him
  • lol
  • 'murica!
  • Damn eurotrash strikes again
  • HaHa.. Spot on!
  • Something lost in translation when Satay wanted to see Bob in his office.
  • That's like people who put out songs with the N word and get mad when some people sing the lyrics.
  • Microsoft = Hypocrisy If you can't record it DON'T SELL IT
  • Best piece of advertisement for this game, made me buy it instantly ;)
  • Another strategy and first step to add this feature in other games. 🙂
  • Innocent people? Even if they did it on purpose they're innocent. It's a legit game on Xbox people paid to play and the Xbox allows screenshots and video recording.... And allows you to do so with this game. Banning people is stupid. Either disable the recording or screenshots, or get rid of the game Microsoft. Don't punish people for doing what they do with every other game.
  • What if people have their screenshots and clips set to private? What's Microsoft's excuse then?
  • Microsoft is reading your messages and looking at your photos. Looks like the privacy nuts only have Apple left to choose.
  • One word: iCloud. Poof. There goes Apple as
  • Next word, internet, nothing is private when you open your interior network to the outside world.
  • what about any other M rated game that has swearing? if you post video of clips with that offensive language do you get banned?
  • Cursing is right behind gun violence, which means it's OK as long as you don't try to talk about or show sex.
  • The ironic thing here is with bioshock the collection your not able to take screenshots or videos so it's really easy to block the feature. This is entrapment and Microsoft deserves to get sued over it
  • I have been perma banned from Xbox for the stupidest reasons. Just like what's happening in social media. Same here on gaming. It's not the battle of gaming anymore. But the battle of getting someone banned... Even in PS. I can't use the gamer tag "Hardcore" what so ever! I've told Xbox. If we can play games that can swear. So should we... Grow up Xbox. Or others tell me to grow up.. Lol. I am. But i guess ur ears are sensitive...
  • Forza 7 funk me over too! I was banned on an emblem I made. That was a double lighting bolts stacked on top of each other. I marked it as. For super sport on my Chevy... instead I was banned a week and had all my tunes and paints deleted... I filed an appeal. With no response... for a month still nothing... And on top of it I was banned perma for redoing new tunes... the worst part is they won't even tell u what u did wrong! So u don't even know how to fix it! Support can only do so much. Cause their hands are tied down when comes to enforcement... But simple support for ur customers is a must... Nope not with forza 7
  • wow that's crazy
  • Wow thats crazy!! Did you try using the forza official forums for help?
  • I made a few clips back when thief came out on xbox one. In particular, the mission where you are sneaking around a bordello and you can look through some peep holes in the wall into a few rooms. Never got a ban for that. Pretty sure one or two clips are uploaded to my Live account right now.
  • If someone reports them you'll almost certainly get banned, if they're publicly viewable.
  • That's retarded
  • Hey just checked out the game in the Xbox store. In game clips there is a clip that shows a girl topless and her nipples are showing. Maybe they should check out their own marketing.
  • As an example only: The Hauppauge HD PVR2 works with the latest XBox. Microsoft can NOT tell if you have take a screenshot or record everything as a movie. Have a friend who doesn't have a XBox post the image on-line and you can't be banned nor can your friend (as (s)he doesn't have an XBox). FYI: When using Opera: I get from the message: An error occurred while attempting to process /system/ajax: Cannot read property 'href' of undefined Could Windows Central, please, support Opera, too? Thank you.
  • This site is rigged as hell. They dont want anyone commenting on it. Make ya jump through 15 hoops just to make a comment then if your comment isnt allowed you have to wait 90s to try again. The hell yall tryna do?
  • With all of the problems w/ being disconnected to XbawxLive lately, can I ban them & have my Gold account prorated for time lost? I find it hilarious that you can get banned for showing a cartoony naked body (guaranteed it’s just females as male danglemeat is verboten!) while issues w/ their online gaming aren’t addressed. I understand that showing “naughty bits” to kids is wrong, but fer crying out loud, banning someone for anything beyond theft/cheating, harassment & threats is dumb. Naked cartoon bodies are the least offensive of the problems plaguing Live. Why is it OK to show all sorts of grievous bodily harm & violence to the Nth degree but ermagerd; boobies!!! When did we decide to have Luddites & puritans decide on “bannable” offenses on XbawxLive? Yecccccch.
  • This is rediculous along with the new tos regarding offensive language so you can't swear.
  • I got caught out with this. Someone called me a selfish prick for not reviving him in siege. I replied explaining why I didn't (used profanity in my explanation but not aimed at him) and he reported my message and got me banned for three days. Lol. So stupid. They don't look at context with the autobanning for profanity.
  • No problems sharing game footage of murder..but a nipple and the world goes crazy!
  • murder by nipple would end humanity