It seems that players are so eager to get their hands on Halo 3: ODST that they have breached the highly secure distribution chain that Microsoft has set up in order to get access to copies of the game.
Microsoft is investigating news that the upcoming Bungie-developed shooter has been leaked in France. The company is emphasizing that the leak is very small but we might just see the game appear on piracy-oriented sites about one month before the official release, which might prove to be a blow to sales.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated that “We are investigating a very small breach in our distribution process around the early delivery of 'Halo 3: ODST' units. 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.”
Fortunately, it has been since clarified that the company is not planning on “banning legitimate customers from Xbox LIVE who play early.” Initial reports are claiming that more than 100 copies of Halo 3: ODST have been leaked.
The upcoming game will be the first Halo universe shooter not featuring the iconic Master Chief in any way. The focus will now be on a squad of the very tough Orbital Drop Shock Troopers who are battling their way through a Covenant-infested New Mombassa.
There will be four main characters and, apparently, sections of the game will be very stealth heavy, with the main protagonist being much more vulnerable than Master Chief. As part of the package, players will also be getting access to a new Firefight mode, which is best described as being the Halo take on the popular Horde featured in Gears of War 2, throwing waves after waves of enemies at the players who hold a central location. Halo 3: ODST will be released exclusively for the Xbox 360 on September 22.