This morning, many would-be participants in the Halo 3 beta tried to download the three-level multiplayer sample of the game. Almost immediately, though, problems were reported by those who had received their beta keys by purchasing a copy of another Microsoft Game Studios title, Crackdown.
For most of the day, Crackdown Halo 3 beta key holders waited for Bungie to fix the problem. Now, it appears that help may finally be at hand. This afternoon, Bungie updated its Web site with a message saying the Halo 3 beta will be fixed soon.
"We're happy to finally announce that the issues being faced with the Halo 3 beta and Crackdown will be resolved shortly. The Microsoft team has found a solution and it's undergoing final testing now," Bungie administrator SketchFactor wrote. "Assuming the test pass goes according to plan, the fix will come in the form of [an Xbox Live] Crackdown title update within the next three to six hours."
[UPDATE] Sure enough, around 7 p.m. PDT, the Crackdown auto-update was issued. "We're happy to announce that effective immediately, a title update for Crackdown is available on Xbox Live that will fix the issue that previously prevented you from downloading the beta," said SketchFactor in his most recent post. "The Microsoft team just deployed this fix, and when you launch Crackdown, you should receive a prompt to download the update."
While welcome, news of the fix was not without its caveats. By Bungie's own estimate, the download could be a long time coming. "Please note that it could take up to four hours for your console to receive this update based on various factors," the developer cagily said in a statement.
To help mollify its outraged fan base, Bungie announced that it is now extending the Halo 3 multiplayer beta. Previously scheduled to end on June 6th--aka D-Day--the trial period will now conclude at 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 10th.