A Microsoft Xbox Elite controller, photographed in 2018
A Microsoft Xbox Elite controller, photographed in 2018

Xbox games not opening as players told the ‘person who bought this needs to sign in’ – even though they are

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Thursday 06 May 2021 18:54

An unusual Xbox error is stopping people from being able to open games.

Players who attempted to open any game were instead told they needed to sign in – even when they were.

The Xbox system appeared to be erroneously accusing people of trying to play games without having purchased them on their account, presumably because of a technical problem.

“The person who bought this needs to sign in,” the error message said, alongside a long message that suggested the wrong person was playing the game. It was also accompanied by a long error code, reading: 0x803f9006.

But searching that error on Microsoft’s support site only led to troubleshooting pages that offered solutions for when players really did need to sign in, not for situations where the error page was appearing wrongly.

Usual troubleshooting solutions, such as restarting the console, did not appear to fix the problem.

Tracking website Down Detector showed a vast increase in the number of people reporting problems with the Xbox Live service.

“My Xbox tells me that the person who bought the game has to be signed in,” wrote one frustrated player on Twitter. “I’m the person.”

The issues appeared to be present with both digital purchases as well as those for which players own the disc.

Modern Xboxes check in with Microsoft’s servers when players open games, in part to ensure that the account that is logged onto the console has the correct usage rights to play it.

But that system also means that any technical errors with those systems – such as a partial or complete outage – can leave players without the option to open or play those games at all.

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