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The OG Xbox Live Is Back From The Dead–This Is The Team Making It Happen

Xbox Live was born on November 15, 2002. Though it wasn’t the first online service offered by a video game console, it’s fair to say that the original Xbox was the box that popularized the concept on an industry-wide level. Hits like Project Gotham Racing 2, Phantasy Star Online, and especially Halo 2 introduced a generation of console gamers to the concept of online play, and the world of gaming has never been the same since. And though Microsoft pulled the plug on the original Xbox Live back in 2010, a team of programmers and hackers at Insignia have brought it back to life on modded Xboxes–a triumph of engineering that serves as a reminder of the importance of digital preservation.

Insignia is a collaboration between five main developers and hobbyists, along with a community of die-hard original Xbox fans. The project got its start in 2019, when developers Billy and Luke (who, along with the rest of the team, requested to be credited by their first names) decided to work together to see if they could create an alternative to Xbox Live. Luke is the lead developer of Cxbx-Reloaded, an open-source Xbox emulator for Windows; Billy has worked on a number of projects, including an Insignia-esque replacement online service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Luke says that he had considered trying to work on online connectivity multiple times throughout the decade-plus that he’s spent working on Cxbx-Reloaded, but it was never top of mind. Once the two of them started working together–and recruited other developers to the cause–they were able to achieve a measure of success more quickly than they expected. “There was no big moment of inspiration at the start,” Luke says. “As soon as we saw our first successful login, that inspired me to keep working at it and see it through.”

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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