Halo 2 Hit by Pirates

A version of Bungie’s new Halo 2 game has been leaked onto the internet, a month before the game is due for release. The game is set for launch on November 9th – and is one of the most eagerly awaited video games of all time.

The version in question is a PAL XBox edition, in French. In order to make use of the pirated copy, a downloader would have to make a DVD from an ISO file, and this would only work on a modified console. Also, I don’t fancy your chances at getting it to work with XBox Live. Given the size of the file and the sheer awkwardness involved in getting it to run, it’s dubious that the leak will affect sales of the game even minutely. However, theft and piracy are still offences and Bungie is not the first high-profile company to be the victim of this sort of crime: a section of Valve’s Half-Life 2 source code relating to Steam was stolen some months ago. It seems that the more demand there is for a title, the greater the impulse to rip it off – will this disruptive, and quite frankly boring, hacker hobby be inevitable for all future big-budget games? I sincerely hope not.

Microsoft issued a statement regarding the leak, asking for anyone with information to come forward.

“Microsoft has learned that a version of Halo 2 has been posted to various newsgroups and web sites. We consider downloading this code or making it available for others to download as theft. We are currently investigating the source of this leak with the appropriate authorities. Pending the result of our investigation, we do not have further comment. Microsoft takes the integrity of its intellectual property extremely seriously, and we are aggressively pursuing the source of this illegal act. The launch of Halo 2 worldwide remains unaffected. We’re asking anyone with information on the source of this leak to contact Microsoft at 1-800-RULEGIT or send email to piracy@microsoft.com.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?