Microsoft's making it rain a million gamertags on Wednesday

Xbox gamertags

Nearly one million unused Xbox gamertags will be up for grabs this Wednesday, May 18. Microsoft recovered these dormant gamertags from players who haven't used the Xbox Live service in years.

According to Ars Technica, a majority of the nearly one million freed names were recovered from a pool of gamertags that were created on the original Xbox console, but haven't been used since the console's servers went offline in 2010.

Gamertags have always been free to create, so enterprising gamers may have created a bunch of 'em without any intention of using them, similar to domain squatting.

Microsoft says it may be challenging to find the exact gamertag you want and that they can't release the actual list of available names. However, the company did reveal that the names will fall into the following categories:

  • Proper names
  • Pop culture references
  • Types of food
  • Geography and travel
  • Science and technology
  • Math and numbers
  • Animals
  • Some of the greatest inventions of all time

So....basically anything and everything. The possibilities are endless!

You'll get your chance to claim of of these names, but only if you've had "at least 1 year of cumulative Xbox Live Gold tenure" and be a current, active Xbox Live Gold user.

Xbox Live lets you switch your gamertag for free the first time, but subsequent changes will cost $10 each.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.