An apparently complete version of Halo 2
has leaked onto the Internet -– almost a month before the game is due for release in stores. The pirated version appears to be a PAL version with French dialogue, which will presumably help Microsoft track down where the leak originated.
The code is almost 3GB in size and is already being widely distributed on newsgroups and peer-to-peer networks. Microsoft representatives were quick to point out that they can pursue a maximum fine of $100,000 against anyone proved to have downloaded the game, or otherwise obtained an illegal copy.
Although it will be impossible to run the pirated version of the game on Xbox Live, the widespread release of the game so early could still cause trouble for Microsoft. Details of the single-player story mode, which developers at Bungie have jealously guarded since the game’s inception, are now likely to be widely disseminated around the Internet.