Hackers reportedly get their hands on Microsoft's Halo: Reach game

The hackers win again. A group of game “modders” have reportedly been able to download Halo: Reach a month before its Sept. 14 release date. The game is the most important exclusive that Microsoft has coming for the Xbox 360 video game console. If pirates are able to get their hands on the game, the monetary damage for Microsoft could be big.

Microsoft recently loaded the game on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace store for game reviewers to download. The group of modders (who hack into game discs and game machines) broke through Microsoft’s security and was able to play the game. However, the modders say they will not distribute the game. The title is expected to be one of the hot sellers this holiday season. Earlier this year, a two-week beta test drew more than 2.7 million players, a strong indication of its expected popularity. I named it one of the top anticipated games of the year.

“So after a lot of .xex cracking etc.. Me and my team finally did it, we got Halo: Reach!,” the modders said. “This is not released for public, and we are not really planning on releasing either.”

One video shows an unreleased scene in the game. Last year, Activision Blizzard had to deal with pirates getting their hands on early copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Despite record levels of piracy, however, the game went on to be the best-selling game of all time.

Moderators on the site have posted a request for gamers to not post about spoilers of the game’s story on forums, though Bungie noted that the moderators do not work for the company itself.

Microsoft said it is looking into the leak and is “aggressively investigating” the matter.

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