In this day and age, pre-release pirated copies of games seem to be unavoidable evil.
“This is how surprised I am about this,” Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor said as he shrugged slightly, adding that piracy of high-profile games is sort of inevitable.
Are leaks as inevitable as O’Connor is making it out to be? Five years have passed since Halo 3’s leak nearly 2 months before launch. Microsoft then banned players who played the game early with a not-permanent, but ridiculously long ban.
You would assume that Microsoft would leave no stone unturned for their next major launch. Fast-forward a bunch of years, sometime before Halo: Reach’s launch, a mysterious downloadable version of the full game became available on Xbox Live. This download was priced way over an obtainable amount, but somehow hackers illegally obtained the game and shared it with the world. Perhaps Halo: Reach hitting the piracy market was inevitable, but never letting this download out would have certainly delayed the process.
Not saying that Halo 4’s leak was planned or trying to stir up any ‘conspiracy’ rumors, but could a major release be that hard to keep under wraps until release, especially when you have experience to learn from? To make matters worse, the leak is coming way before most games get leaked and there are pictures that the leak is from an actual retail copy of the game. That does not come easy in any form of media.
Maybe it was inevitable. Maybe it was lack of effort that led to a supreme disservice to fans. Maybe it was a strange mix of both. Considering the benefits, maybe Microsoft doesn’t mind a leak such as this. Heck, pirates will obtain their illegal version of the game once it’s out anyway. That’s the truly inevitable part. Planned or not planned, the positive in all this is that Halo 4 has gained some buzz leading to the big launch.
Gamers are now clicks away from knowing whatever they want about the game weeks prior to its release on November 6th.