Microsoft is looking to crack some skulls over the month-early leak of Halo 3: ODST in France, but says "legitimate customers" who play the game online won't be banned from Xbox Live.
Halo 3: ODST isn't scheduled for release until September 22 but at least one retailer in France apparently didn't get the memo and started selling it two days ago, very possibly setting a new record for the most egregiously broken street date ever. Microsoft, naturally, wasn't too happy about this turn of events and promised much punishment for anyone involved.
"We are investigating a very small breach in our distribution process around the early delivery of Halo 3: ODST units," Microsoft said in a statement to Kotaku.
"We are also investigating Xbox Live accounts that show activity related to Halo 3: ODST and will take action against those we believe have procured copies of the game illegitimately," the statement continued. "We have nothing further to share at this time."
An ominous warning to be sure, but as it turns out, not quite as heavy-handed as it sounds. In a follow-up message on Twitter, Stephen Toulouse of Microsoft clarified the statement. "We will not be banning legitimate customers from Xbox Live who play early," he wrote.
In other words, even though it's a month early, if you paid for the game then you won't be hung out to dry for it. I wouldn't expect quite the same generosity for whoever it was that sold it, though.