For the past few weeks there's been a gold badge at the top of my (and others') Gamertag inside of Xbox Live games on the Xbox 360. I honestly had no idea what it was. Turns out it's a Tenure icon, which indicates how long (cumulatively) you've had an Xbox Live Gold account.

Your Xbox LIVE user account tenure is graphically represented on your gamercard by a number that represents your years of tenure. Here are some key points about this value:

  • The tenure icon that is displayed is based on the total time that your Microsoft billing account is associated with an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription.
  • If your subscription is canceled and downgraded to Silver, your tenure will pick up where it left off the next time that you subscribe.
  • Tenure is displayed as the number of years on the service.

Consider the following scenario. You are an Xbox LIVE Gold subscriber who signed up in January 2005. In January 2007, you chose not to renew your Xbox LIVE subscription. Instead, you became a Silver member. In January 2009, you renew your Gold membership by purchasing an annual subscription. In this scenario, the count for the tenure icon is "2." The tenure icon will be updated to display "3" when your most recent cycle is completed in January 2010.

Like many people, apparently, I'm surprised that my tenure isn't longer (i.e. a bigger number). Also, it's unclear why this is only on the console and not on the web interface for Gamertags.