Loot Ninja writes:
"The recent Halo Wars data wipe of the Xbox Live Leaderboards has raised a concern with me regarding digital distribution. I love the ability to browse, buy, and play with the furthest distance I move is to the fridge to get a cold one and the bathroom to drop the kids off at the pool. One of the things (just one, don't dive any deeper than one today, ok?) that scares the crap out of me about this is not having the physical media in my possession. Why is this a big deal? Because one person pushed one button or tripped over a plug and thousands of Halo Wars players all screamed out at once as their Leaderboards were silenced. All data regarding Leaderboard status was lost forever. There is no chance of recovery, hours of gameplay are gone, no one will believe that guy that he was king of the hill.
"Imagine that same horror but with your XBL account. Every game you have paid for, Microsoft suddenly has no record of that transaction. With Microsoft Points it's not like you have a receipt. Take your pick of any online digital distributor, Apple, Steam, or GoG account. Their database crashes, gets wiped, or they board up shop and stop supporting. Somehow, it happens, they no longer have any record of a sale to you and you can no longer access the games to download. Your virtual goods are gone and you aren't getting a refund. If you previously downloaded and deleted it, or just never downloaded it, you won't get it again until you pay… again."