Microsoft has warned that playing a pirated version of the new Gears Of War will force a console ban, as the game leaks a month ahead of its release.
Series spin-off Gears Of War: Judgment isn’t due out in the UK until March 22 (March 19 in the U.S.), but last week a pirated version of the game appeared on download sites across the Internet.
As you can imagine this has not pleased publisher Microsoft, who has issued the following statement:
‘We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately.
Exactly how serious Microsoft is about involving ‘law enforcement’ we’re not sure, but it’s certainly very easy for them to check for anyone playing the game online and to then ban their account and/or console.
Microsoft has always been bad at keeping secrets, with most Xbox-related news leaking out as rumours months before being officially announced, but this is also far from the first time one of its major exclusives has been leaked early.
A pirated version of Halo 4 appeared online almost a month before release and an unfinished version of Gears Of War 3 also managed to find its way online a full two months before it was released.
Who exactly is behind all this, and whether it’s the same people each time, has never been revealed, but we wouldn’t want to be them when Microsoft’s lawyers get hold of them.