More than two months before its scheduled release, Gears of War 3 has leaked to the internet.
It's becoming kind of a videogaming tradition, isn't it? A few days, weeks or even months before a major release hits store shelves, some dick lets it slip to torrent sites. The latest big name to end up floating around prematurely is Gears of Wars 3, which turned up in all the wrong places earlier today. It's apparently an early build of the game that only runs on JTAG-modded Xbox 360 consoles, but it does run and that's what makes the leak kind of a kick in the junk: as the conclusion of the Gears trilogy, GoW3 is anticipated almost as much for its story as for its gun-heavy gameplay.
Microsoft told IGN that it is working with various law enforcement agencies to track down the source of the leak as well as everyone who downloads it, and of course issued the standard warning that the leaked game isn't the real deal. "We have seen the reports of Gears of War 3 content being propped on the Web and working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation," the company said in a statement. "This content is not from a final build and is not representative of what fans will enjoy when the game launches."
Gears 3 isn't the only big-time 360 game to end up floating around on torrent sites in recent months, of course; the same thing happened to Halo: Reach back in August 2010. I will now do my best to resist tossing out a cheap zinger about how rampant piracy is destroying the PC videogame industry.
For the record, Gears of War 3 is scheduled to come out all nice and legal-like on September 20.