I am shocked – shocked, I tell you! – by the news that Duke Nukem Forever has been leaked to torrent sites.
Pre-launch leaks of major videogames to torrent sites is becoming something of an industry ritual and in that light it’s not really a surprise that, with a week to go before its June 14 release in North America, Duke Nukem Forever ended up floating around on public torrent sites. Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 versions of the game are in the wild and although several fake DNF files have popped up in recent weeks, these are confirmed as the real deal. The warez group “Complex” is responsible for putting out the 360 version while “Duplex” covered PS3 duties.
While games like Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 have suffered pre-release piracy with little apparent impact on sales, some sites are suggesting that the Duke Nukem Forever leak could be more damaging because of the limited release of the demo, which kept it out of many gamers’ hands, and the less-than-entirely-enthusiastic response among those who have been able to play it. Fair or not [and as we know from past experience, it’s often not], negative reaction to the leak could be enough to torpedo the game.
It’s also worth pointing out, I think, that while the 360 and PS3 versions of the game are running free, the PC version apparently is not. Maybe someone needs to explain to me one more time how publishers are shying away from the PC because of all the rampant piracy problems it suffers from.