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HALO 2 Hijacked!

Microsoft is not pleased

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     October 15, 2004


Logo for HALO 2.
© Bungie Studios / Microsoft
Less than a month before the most anticipated release ever, HALO 2 is online. Unfortunately, this isn't Xbox Live online, but online for gamers to download from peer to peer networks or other online venues. Microsoft is not pleased (as you could guess) and is claiming that it will fine users up to $100,000 if they find out that people are downloading it. Troy and James chime in with their thoughts about this:

It really is a shame about HALO 2 being leaked on the internet less than a month before its release. It is really like HALF-LIFE 2 all over again, but maybe a little worse. HALO 2 is, in my opinion, definitely one of the most anticipated gamers ever and this kind of puts a damper on it. It isn't like it isn't going to sell millions of copies or anything (unless some weird people would rather keep their PAL version with its French language), but in a way it lessens the game.

Who leaked it? Definitely a good question as Microsoft has announced that they weren't sending preview or review code out to any American websites or magazines. Although, the American press may be getting a little different treatment than the European press, so who knows: maybe it was someone in the press. The $100,000 fine for downloading the game is quite hefty and may actually scare some potential pirates off, but I'm sure a fair amount of people are playing the game right now. Hey, maybe this is some kind of marketing ploy from Microsoft to jazz up the release of the game. Who knows?

I'm sure HALO 2 will be worth the wait, but I can wait until the week before release for my copy. TR

HALO 2 getting leaked isn't a good thing for Microsoft. But then again, is it going to slow down the sales of this game? Probably not - the only way to play it is on a modded Xbox and most modded Xboxes are locked out of Xbox Live. So really to get your hands on the game, it's only for the one-player mode. Not only that, it's in French and it's PAL rather than NTSC. I'm sure there will be some pirating of the game, but in the long run it seems like too much of a hassle for a game that's going to be coming out next month - although it's great hype is going to probably create an initial frenzy of people trying to try it out... there'll still be those people in USA and other places in the world will buy the final product.

I'm wondering

Logo for HALO 2.

how it got leaked and my best guess is someone in the media. It's been getting harder and harder these days to get prolific games out of companies ahead of time as there is a genuine fear of piracy in the game industry. This wouldn't be an issue of some members of the media wouldn't just pass out burned copies of discs to friends or other web journalists, but it happens at an alarming rate and in reality all we are doing is hurting ourselves.

This leak may make Microsoft even more protective of its code in the future - thus meaning fewer early builds and more trips to go play the games instead of just getting them in the mail. This is unfortunate and the effect this could have on companies getting their games out is probably larger than it needs to be. JS

TIDBITS



Sega will publish TENCHU: FATAL SHADOWS... Activision will release SPIDER-MAN 2 and TONY HAWK'S UNDERGROUND 2 for the PSP at launch... MORTAL KOMBAT: DECEPTION has shipped a million units... LEISURE SUIT LARRY banned in Austrailia...

ON SHELVES



This week, Game Boy Advance players can look forward to KIRBY AND THE AMAZING MIRROR and BOKTAI 2. Also being released this week is TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 for the Xbox, Playstation 2, GameCube and GBA, as well as OUTLAW GOLF 2 for the PS2 and Xbox. Also be on the lookout for NEO CONTRA for the PS2 and OTOGI 2 for the Xbox, along with GROWLANSAER: GENERATIONS for the PS2 and MEN OF VALOR for the Xbox. And think, next week we'll be mentioning SAN ANDREAS here...

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.



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