Since I don't have a XBOX, I'm not directly in the situation, so I'll just copy a good summary written by someone else... from NeoGAF:
Spread the word!Castor Krieg said:Majority of you live in Western Europe/US, so you are probably not aware that some countries in Eastern Europe do not have official XBL support, despite X360 being sold in each country legally (and distributed by Microsoft, no less). I have X360 registered for France, all of my friends have their X360 registered to match Polish Embassy in London, UK. Although it can be considered a workaround, and some of you may think it's not a big deal (although Yakuza 3 players will support me here) the consequences are larger than just not being able to register the service for my own country:
1. Certain DLCs have regional IP checks, which prevents them from being downloaded by users in Poland. The latest one is Ubisoft's AC2, where Polish players who purchased the game are unable to download any DLC for the game (confirmed by Ubisoft Poland).
2. DLC codes are being taken out of game boxes, because of no official XBL support. Meaning no extra maps in Gears of War 2, and no free DLC with new copies of Dragon Age for X360. The codes are simply not there. Although EA Poland later corrected itself by supplying players with the DLC codes, a lot of games remain code-less to this day, and it's no fun at all to guess if the next big release will also lack the content a lot of players outside Poland can enjoy.
The whole situation came to a boil over the recent action by Microsoft Poland. In short the Polish branch launched a campaign "I don't mod my console = I don't steal", trying to address large percentage of X360 sold in Poland, which are later modded and used to play pirated games, even despite such action most likely resulting in XBL ban. During the early days of the campaign Microsoft Poland made a not-so-subtle comment, that the lack of Polish XBL is directly tied to high piracy rates in our country. This was a first time piracy was blamed for the lack of XBL, previous comments included "complexity" of setting-up such a service. Also, Czech Republic (also without XBL) has lower piracy rates.
A lot of people in Poland became pretty enraged by such patronising attitude from the Polish branch, and decided to set-up a counter-initiative "I don't buy incomplete product - I do not steal". You can access the English version of the website below:
Short FAQ here:
Interview with one of the founders (in English):
As seen in FAQ, the problem is not limited to Poland. Gamers in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Lithuania also do not have the ability to sign-up for XBL using their home addreses.
It must also be said that Microsoft Poland was very slow in providing Xbox brand for Polish gamers - original Xbox was not oficially distributed in Poland; X360 was initially distributed by another company, only a few years ago Microsoft oficially took over the distribution and promotion of the product. All the game boxes sold in Poland carry "XBL" logo, and Microsoft Poland is keen to point out the incredible online experiencewhile promoting the console.
This is in stark contrast to Sony Poland, which was active in promotion of the Playstation brand for more than 10 years now, even despite PS2 console being modded and pirated to heavens. I was able to buy PS2 legally through Sony Poland in 2001. Needless to say Polish gamers had access to PSN since the very beginning while being able to sign-in for service using the address in Poland.
On the website I've given above you can read the latest reply from Microsoft to Polish gamers. At the end of January Microsoft promised an answer to Polish XBL problems within 30 days, indicating that they will contact HQ. The answer came yesterday:
Xbox is very committed to the Polish market and is appreciative of the passion and excitement that our community of users show for our products, including Xbox LIVE. This year, 2010, is going to be a historic year for Xbox and our aim is to bring to our Polish community of users the full and best interactive experiences possible on the Xbox 360. We currently finalizing our plans for the Polish market that we will become public at the forthcoming E3 consumer trade show, later in June. Our Polish community of Xbox users should expect to hear more about how we will take the Xbox 360 experience to another level in Poland.
Please note no mention of XBL, just "interactive experiences", which probably means Natal. Please also take note of grammar errors, and no signature. In the end this is the same kind of answer Polish gamers were given exactly a year ago, with XBL being promised during Summer 2009.
I hope this thread get support from other people. It can also be a place for Eastern Europe gamers to exchange experiences about the quality of service Microsoft provides for them. A lot of people in Poland buy original games. In fact, PS3 is the most popular platform, with PS3 releases always high on Top 20 charts! A lot of gamers in Poland who own X360 have high gamerscore, they are dedicated and passionate about videogames. It is a shame that we are not treated equally as gamers in other countries. Sony Poland made an effort to provide Polish gamers with quality service for many years now, so yes - it can be done.