Microsoft says it is legally unable to update Xbox Live gamers on its progress in fixing the overworked gaming network. It's because after a number of problems with its Xbox Live network, Microsoft is facing legal action.

On 4 January, Microsoft promised Xbox Live subscribers a free Xbox Live Arcade game after outages over Christmas saw millions of gamers cut off from the service.

So now, one enterprising American lawyer is suing Microsoft for $5m (£2.54m), alleging that Microsoft was in breach of contract when gamers were unable to connect to the Xbox Live network.

Microsoft sued

As a result of this litigation, Microsoft says it's now legally obliged to stay quiet on the matter. And that means it will not be able to update gamers on the status of repairs to the Xbox Live infrastructure.

"Unfortunately a lawyer has decided to sue us, there is litigation, and once that happens I can no longer make a comment. I can't say anything so I apologise, but go talk to the lawyer. That's all I can say about that," Major Nelson said in a webcast on his blog. Nelson is the pseudonym of Larry Hyrb, director of Programming for Xbox Live.

It does all seem to be a bit of a fuss about nothing though; the outages were only experienced for a brief period. Microsoft's statement about being unable to update gamers seems more of an effort to drum up a bit of public sympathy ahead of the court case than anything else.