How to get Call of Duty Classic in Germany

Because the Internet is broken, there are times when you need to fix it. Here is the story of how I re-claimed my very own copy of Call of Duty Classic from the clutches of IP Geolocation.

Some time ago I bought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I got the “hardened edition” which included a code to download Call of Duty Classic on the Xbox 360. Because I loathe German translation I got the UK version of the game. I used the code to download Call of Duty Classic on my UK Xbox Live account and things were fine.

But then I got a new Xbox. I had to re-download everything on the new console. Surprise! Microsoft introduced IP Geolocation to prevent downloading the game in Germany – I presume due to legal difficulties. Of course that’s not the message I got when I tried it nonetheless. Instead I got “status code 80070017″ every time the download approached 99%. After some searching on forums I put the puzzle pieces together. I had to find a way to set a foreign IP for the Xbox.

Figuring out the solution took me half of the night. I finally succeeded. If you want to try the same, this may not work for you. But it can give you pointers what to look for. The general procedure is:

  1. Hook up the Xbox to your PC using LAN
  2. Establish a foreign VPN connection on your PC
  3. Share that VPN connection over LAN
  4. Configure the Xbox to use that connection to go online

So now let’s get detailed. First hooking up everything.

  • As long as my Xbox still used the old Internet setup, I’ve downloaded the game as far as I could. The Xbox canceled the download at 99%. Re-downloading would cause the download to resume at 99%. I didn’t want to re-download the ENTIRE game over the foreign VPN.

  • Next, I connected the Xbox to my notebook using a simple LAN cable. Luckily, no crossover cables needed anymore.

  • Next I got myself a foreign VPN network. I used They are quite flexible. There are different setup tutorials on their website. They have a wide selection of servers in different countries. They even have a free demo account to experiment with. I guess I could have used that demo account to get the job done but I bought a day of access just to make sure.

  • I’m using Windows 7. As described on the usaip website, I used the built-in VPN capabilities to create a vanilla Windows VPN connection to a UK server ( I tested the connection on and I was now surfing from Great Britain.

  • The next step was to share that VPN over the LAN connection to the Xbox. That bit was a bit hidden. I found it in the properties of of the VPN connection. The very last tab is called “Sharing” (”Freigabe” in German). Simply clicking on all check-boxes and selecting the LAN connection from the dropdown-box does the trick.

    Connection Sharing

    There seem to be other solutions. For example you can create a network bridge. I tried using this but never got it to work. :(

  • So now my notebook shared the VPN over the LAN connection but my Xbox didn’t know anything about it yet. I had to figure out which IP was assigned to my notebook on the LAN network (right mouse on LAN connection -> status -> details) and put in that IP address as the gateway and primary DNS for my Xbox network setup. Also I set an arbitrary, unique IP address for the Xbox itself and made sure the subnet mask match.

  • I started the connection test on the Xbox. It went trough but complained that the configuration wasn’t optimal. I suspect that was because some ports weren’t shared properly. I tried to fix that but to no avail. The Xbox connected to Xbox live nonetheless. Yay!

  • But of course it didn’t go quite as flawlessly. Because of the missing ports, I couldn’t access the marketplace. My download history wasn’t working either. It took me a while to figure this one out. I finally just logged in on my notebook using the web interface at and used that to access my download history and put the download of Call of Duty Classic in my download queue. I re-connected on Xbox live and the download went trough.

  • Finally, while I was in Great Britain I got a copy of Doom II and watched some YouTube videos.

A great example of how big companies use digital distribution to take away customer rights. Yes I paid for Call of Duty Classic, but apparently I don’t really own it after all. I can only download it if they allow it. The terms of what kind of access to my VERY OWN PROPERTY is valid are subject to change. Also, I cannot even return the game if I don’t agree to those terms anymore. They can change their mind. I don’t. The only way to get what I paid for is to invest time and money for complicated and shady solutions. This makes the step to full-on piracy seem SO much more reasonable. After all, the only way to enjoy my property is to become a semi-criminal anyway. Why not simply going all the way and at least paying less?

This is an alarming and unacceptable situation.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

5 responses to “How to get Call of Duty Classic in Germany”

  1. SebWuepper

    Thanks for the write up. I sure will appreciate this should a similar situation arise with a game I bought abroad (since, well, for pretty much the same reasons you do I’m also buying *every* game in the UK – well that and them being a lot cheaper but that’s another story).

    I’m waiting for the day they country-lock the consoles so you can no longer run imports with incorrect IPs. Boris Schneider-Johne, the Xbox brand manager Germany regularly rants about importers like us damaging the local market, I really wouldn’t put it behind them pulling something like that off one day…

    “Your XBox is not connected to the Internet. Please connect your XBox to the Internet to play Halo 5!” – “There is nothing wrong with this copy of Halo 5 (UK Version). Please play this copy of Halo 5 (UK Version) on a console that resides within the region of United Kingdom. This version will not work on a console residing outside of this region!”

    1. Krystian Majewski

      But of course we all know it’s not the customers that destroy the market. It’s the provider. I would gladly buy games in Germany. Unfortunately, the German versions are simply inferior products.

      As for Geo-locked consoles – yeah they might do something like this. On the other hand, the whole idea of region-locking DVD’s didn’t work so well after all. Customers are like dinosaurs – they always find a way. ;)

  2. lid

    Think theres a way I could download a german version of call of duty classic if i live in the US?

  3. Aruna

    do you know how to do this on a mac? i have trouble connecting my mac to the xbox once the vpn is on.

    1. Krystian Majewski

      We tried using the “Internet Sharing” function of a Mac at the office but we aslo had issues getting consoles connected this was. I think you need to ask around in Mac-specific forums.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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