Xbox Live gamertags

Be ready to say farewell to your current Xbox Live gamertag. If you’re one of the minds that have been worrying about your favorite gamertag being chosen by someone else years ago, then you’ll have another chance to pick one up for you. Microsoft has announced that it will be freeing around one million gamertags from abandoned accounts later this week.

Starting Wednesday, May 18, any Xbox Live Gold member who had secured a year’s worth of Gold status since 2002 can grab one of the new gamertags. The first wave of gamertags will be up for acquisition starting at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST on May 18. These gamertags will be pitched in over a period of 24 hours instead of releasing them all “to give our fans in various countries an equal chance to get one.”

Bookmark this page and head to the same tomorrow to pick your gamertag. If you’ve already changed your gamertag once for free, you’ll have to cash out a small fee to change your gamertag now and every subsequent change from then.

Microsoft is not going to publish the list of gamertags, but the company says there will be “many great” ones available in multiple categories. So you’ll need to be ready for guessing the cards.