Latest Halo reaches filesharing sites a month early

Microsoft "aggressively investigating" leak of 7GB game from Xbox Live

Upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach has been leaked, arriving on public filesharing sites almost a month ahead of its official release date.

Microsoft admitted that a "security exploit" had enabled hackers to obtain all 7 GB of the game's code from Xbox Live Marketplace, where it was hosted for reviewers.

The download had carried a mock pricetag of 99999 Microsoft points (approximately £860), but also required a specially-provided code issued to select reviewers. However, an anonymous party was able to bypass these security checks.

Following the leak, which swiftly spread to public BitTorrent sites, Microsoft issued the following statement: "We are aware of claims being made regarding a security exploit related to Halo: Reach and are aggressively investigating the matter. We have no further details to share at this time."

Developer Bungie offered more comment, primarily intended to discourage storyline spoilers (which have already appeared on fansites).

"Posting to Discuss, Request, or Link To information or campaign spoilers from illegitimately obtained sources - including illegitimately obtained copies of Halo: Reach - before the game is officially released will be considered a leak and will be treated as such," read a statement on the studio's official forum.

"The moderation team is doing their best, but if you want to stay 100 per cent spoiler free, our best advice is to 'go dark' by staying off all internet gaming forums until you have played through the game."

Whether Microsoft will continue to offer review code via download may now be in doubt. A spokesperson had previously told Joystiq that "While we are thrilled to be able to take advantage of the technology to provide media with a more accessible and convenient review experience, there are no plans to launch Halo: Reach to the public through Games on Demand."

Halo: Reach is due for public release on September 14.

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Latest comments (9)

Tomas Lidström Lighting Artist, Rebellion11 years ago
Poor bungie. Is there a single Bungie game post halo 1 that hasnt been leaked?
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
I don't mean to spoil the storyline for anyone, but I think the Covenant win, and all the Spartans die! :p
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Dominic Bodman Studying Computer Games Programming, University of Derby11 years ago
I thought the ending of this game was pretty publicly known!
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Show all comments (9)
Tomas Lidström Lighting Artist, Rebellion11 years ago
Terence, all spartans but one ;)
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Josef Brett Animator 11 years ago
Tomas - of course!

Seriosly though, it's been a busy weekend for piracy...

P.S. I love the fact that someone at MS had given it a 'price' of 99999 - someone in Redmond does have a sense of humour!
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Private Industry 11 years ago
That`s why you should send reviewers only a nice fingerprinted disc if you don`t want such things to happen. If it`s still leaked you can at least easier find out who is responsible.

Or optional put the reviewers on the parternet, but having it on the retail Xbox Live visible for all that just invites people to figure a way out to download it.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Private on 23rd August 2010 5:51pm

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Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna11 years ago
Maybe it's time for M$ to pull the plug for all modified 360:s once and for all? It's a shame to see people with modded 360:s on Live, and there're lots of them.
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This is why MS should hide content on their Marketplace website.

Just like with the ME2 Pre Order DLC made available for all if you queued it up quickly enough. Seriously how many slip ups does the Halo franchise need :) (In relation to leaked code/retailers selling early)

This seemed like a money saving idea from MS! Go back to silvers :P
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany11 years ago
Disgusting, I deeply despice this kind of "persons".

They should see all the work behind any game... some days are hell on earth for me, and I'm just a tester!
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