Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Halo: Reach Leaked

Halo Reach Screenshot Halo Reach Screenshot Halo Reach Screenshot

Unfortunate news for Microsoft, as their latest blockbuster, Halo: Reach, has been leaked onto file-sharing sites along with instructions for bypassing the security. The copy seems to have been a review copy of the game that had been listed with a mock price-tag of 99,999 Microsoft Points, with a code to allow access to the game for free. The security has been bypassed.

Reaction from Microsoft and Bungie has been swift. Microsoft quickly put out a 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."
Bungie decided to double-down, and lay the gauntlet for anyone wishing to report anything from the game that would be covered by an embargo:
"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."
Considering this is a review copy, I hope that whoever is responsible for the leak is found, prosecuted and blackballed from the industry. What's worse, however, is how this could affect reviewers in the future.

As GI.biz notes, this could put the future of digital media being used for review purposes in doubt. I've received plenty of games before release that I would not have received had they not been digital copies. To send a game as early as Reach reviewers are receiving it, they would need test kits, which are extremely hard to get. This is surely going to make other companies think twice before sending digital copies of their games out, which means I'm back to the days of turning down review code because of the ridiculous DRM it's going to put on my system.

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