Microsoft did not take this morning's Gears of War leak very well. When a surprise of that magnitude is spilled, perpetrators should expect to feel some wrath. And wrath they did feel, as Microsoft has reportedly flipped a kill switch on the leakers' Xbox One machines, as well as suspended the offenders' Xbox Live accounts.
"Recently, multiple leaks were perpetrated by several GBTN community members," reads a letter from third-party teesting service VMC, sent to Polygon earlier today. "In one case, a member who was participating in that test shared a screenshot on Snapchat with their friend, who wasn't part of the project, but tricked his friend by saying he didn't believe him when he said they were working on the same project. Upon reception of the screenshot, the friend who received the Snapchat leaked it online, betraying his friend as well as his NDA with VMC Games. While the tester who first took the screenshot didn't think he was doing anything bad, he was still going against the NDA, and was part of the cause why the information got leaked. Because of this, both members were permanently removed from the community and addressed to our legal department, as per the terms of the NDA.
"Now, new wording is about to reach the community regarding this particular event. The nature of the leak having had occurred through Xbox One, actually also went against the Microsoft EULA, which is agreed upon when creating an Xbox LIVE account, or any other type of Microsoft account. This being said, as per that agreement with the testers in fault, Microsoft also permanently disabled their Xbox LIVE accounts (as well as other suspected accounts present on their Xbox One kits) and temporarily blocked all of their Xbox One privileges - meaning that for a period of time which Microsoft decides on depending on the severity of the offense, their Xbox One is entirely unusable."
To sum up, the offenders have had their Xbox Ones temporarily bricked and all associated accounts have been permanently suspended. The idea that there's a kill switch on a console at all is eyebrow-raising in itself, effectively rendering a consumer-purchased product completely unusable. That may be concerning to a number of Xbox One users. However, few will likely weep for the leakers. After all, companies take non-disclosure agreements very seriously and if these penalties were detailed in the contracts signed, Microsoft appears to be within their rights to take this action.
With such severe action being taken, it is also reasonable to conclude that there was indeed something to these leaks. Look for more details to come in a more official capacity soon.