Back in the Spring, I purchased the expansion pack for Call of Duty 4 on my Xbox 360 so that my girlfriend, who was/is addicted to the game, could benefit from the additional maps. I downloaded the expansion pack with my Xbox Live profile. She then logged back into the Xbox using her profile and played online with the new maps. All was right with the world.
Then one day, the Xbox 360 console that I’d come to know and love died. It presented the Red Ring of Death (RRoD), a sight feared by all Xbox 360 owners. Fortunately, Microsoft has invested billions of dollars into replacing systems under 3 years old that show the RRoD, and I was able to receive a free replacement system within a couple of weeks.
Happily, my girlfriend resumed her online play of Call of Duty 4. But after a couple of days, we realized that the new maps had vanished. I can access them when I log in to play online, but she can’t anymore.
The technical explanation behind this is that downloaded contect gets bound to both your Xbox Live account AND your console. If for any reason you wind up with a new console, you have to be logged into your Xbox Live account to access your downloaded content; other logins on the new console will not have access.
I found a work-around for it, but it isn’t fun and I’m sure it doesn’t apply to all games where this is an issue. First, I delete the expansion pack off my hard drive. We start the game up under her profile, then at the title screen, we log out of her profile and log in as mine. Then I redownoad the entire expansion pack while the game is running and I’m logged in. As soon as the download is complete, we log out of my profile and back in with hers. Bear in mind, this has all happened while the game is running. If we do that just right, the maps are playable again, but only for as long as she’s logged in. As soon as the console is turned off, this will have to be done again to enable the maps once more.
I’ve seen where others are experiencing similar problems with other Xbox Live content such as the XBL Arcade games. There is a petition online right now to get this fixed, which I have happily signed, but it will need many more signatures before the DRM is made usable. Please visit http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/XboxLiveDRMRevisions and sign the petition. Your support is appreciated by everyone else in the Xbox Live community.