“Halo 4,” the latest installment in the gargantuan “Halo” series, is set to be released Nov. 6. According to online reports, however, the game has already leaked, with a physical copy of the game being cracked and made available for download via BitTorrent sites.
News apparently first broke that the latest “Halo” game may have leaked when a picture of the game’s disks was published at NeoGAF. Later, screenshots of supposedly leaked content began appearing on sites such as Reddit, and commenters made references to finding the complete game on BitTorrent sites.
Currently, several files claiming to be “Halo 4” are available on BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, but it is unknown whether these are genuine copies of the game or simply malware.
So far, Microsoft Studios, publisher of the “Halo” series, has been keeping extremely quiet on the issue. Microsoft admits it is aware of the rumors about the game being leaked, but refuses to address whether the game is available before its launch.
“We have seen the reports of 'Halo 4' content being propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation," a Microsoft representative told Game Informer. When directly questioned about whether “Halo 4” had leaked, the representative reportedly declined to answer.
Game Informer also said that numerous YouTube videos featuring content from the allegedly leaked version of “Halo 4” have reportedly sprung up before being quickly deleted.
Upon further investigation of these claims, IBTimes reporters found no game-play videos, but several versions of the game’s prologue. Many versions of the video have indeed been taken down because of copyright claims by Microsoft -- including one linked to Reddit -- but several versions are still floating around.
The “Halo 4” prologue gives in-depth information about the creation of the Spartan program and seems to promise that “Halo 4” will focus on protagonist Master Chief Petty Officer John-117’s emotional development throughout the game. Previously, the character rarely spoke and his backstory was largely implied, so this development could be a huge change for the series.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.