A new wave of user bans on Xbox Live is for the "health of the video game business", according to comments made by Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb -- better known as Major Nelson.
Writing on his regular blog, Hryb confirmed
that the recent spate of bans was primarily aimed at users with modified or "chipped" Xbox 360 consoles.
Hryb's full statement explained: "In our our continued effort to keep gameplay safe and secure for our community of more than 14 million members, Microsoft has taken action against a small percentage of Xbox 360 consoles that have been illegally modified in order to play pirated games."
"The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive, both from manufacturers and the local companies that support them," he continued. "We will continue to employ and bolster anti-piracy security measures to counter piracy in the gaming industry and improve security in the Xbox Live community."
The new measures by Microsoft come at the same time as Blizzard closed more than 350,000 StarCraft and Diablo II accounts
for using third party software modifications. However, in this case the offenders were primarily cheaters, rather than pirates.