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August 24, 2010

Microsoft investigates Halo leak, talks bans for pirates

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by Darren Allan

Microsoft is, of course, not best pleased about the premature leaking of the much anticipated next instalment in the Halo franchise.

Pirate copies of Halo: Reach appeared on file-sharing sites yesterday, despite the initial word of the hackers who cracked the review copy of the game, who at first said it wouldn’t be distributed publicly.

Microsoft continues to investigate the mishap, and told the BBC: “We are still investigating details surrounding a claimed leak of Halo Reach and have nothing further to share.”

Microsoft’s Director of Policy and Enforcement for Xbox Live, Stephen Toulouse, reminded those who might be thinking of grabbing the illegal copy of the game about the prospect of being banned via his Twitter account.

He tweeted: “As with all unauthorized play on Xbox Live, anyone playing any unauthorized title runs the risk of account permaban and console.”

And he followed that with: “Remember, legit store bought copy runs no risk of ban. Key word: UNAUTHORIZED. We have ways of knowing.”

The fact that this has happened over three weeks in advance of the launch is what has niggled many, and has caused questioning to crop up over whether Microsoft might pull the game’s official launch date forward to appease fans somewhat.

CVG asked Microsoft whether it was considering such a move in the face of pressure from fans, and perhaps shareholders. However, the company wouldn’t be drawn to comment on the matter.

Apparently Bungie is in favour of getting the game out of the door earlier now. We shall have to see, but we don’t think it’s too likely that Microsoft will bow to the pressure and shift the date.

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