Microsoft banning Halo: Reach pirates - Report

Publisher said to have permanently cut off Xbox Live access for gamers who have illegally downloaded prerelease version of Bungie's sci-fi shooter prequel.

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Halo: Reach will be released into the wild in just 21 days, but some gamers downloaded illegitimate copies and are now reportedly paying a hefty price for their actions.

Earlier this month a community of modders got their hands on Bungie's final Halo game from Microsoft's virtual marketplace. And though it was reportedly not their intention to let the code loose to file-sharing sites, it ended up there.

Microsoft isn't capturing the flag, but rather the player.

Now, gamers playing unauthorized copies of Halo: Reach on Xbox Live-connected Xbox 360s are being tracked down and slammed with a permanent ban, according to a policy document obtained by MaxConsole.

"Notification of Permanent Suspension," reads Microsoft's guideline article. The document cites "prerelease title play" as the cause for the ban and says affected parties won't be able to connect to Xbox Live, per policy, ever again.

"During your suspension, you will not be able to log into Xbox Live. Your Xbox Live privileges will not be reinstated. Customer Support is not able to modify or provide any further details about your suspension," reads the document.

As of press time, Microsoft would not confirm for GameSpot whether the bans are limited to GamerTags or Xbox 360 systems. Microsoft did, however, provide GameSpot with the following statement concerning the issue.

"Microsoft’s commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the 25 million members of the Xbox Live community remains a top priority. All consumers should know that piracy is illegal, violates the Xbox Live terms of use, and will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox Live."

Addressing the situation via Twitter, Microsoft's director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, Stephen Toulouse, issued the following statement.

"As with all unauthorized play on Xbox Live, anyone playing any unauthorized title runs the risk of account permaban and console. Remember, legit store bought copy runs no risk of ban. Key word: UNAUTHORIZED. We have ways of knowing."

The Halo series is no stranger to piracy, leaks, and broken street dates. Halo 2 was widely available on file-sharing sites prior to its release in 2004. Additionally, Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST were both sold at retail ahead of their street dates.

As far as punishment is concerned, when an Xbox Live user hacked his way into Halo 3's Epsilon test, he was banned for thousands of years.

Discussion

737 comments
emperiox
emperiox

Good, Halo sucks. 2 Halos before HReach they said it was the end of one of the stupidest gaming franchises in the world. Then they made Halo tactics thing, then Halo Reach. Great job of milking it and blatantly lying to consumers.

fiddels
fiddels

Ok. Just got a legal copy of the game. (I Work in a rental shop). does this mean i can't play it till tuesday. or i will get my account baned?????? even thou it's a full retail copy and i spent my hard earned cash to buy it. please help me...

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Alan Wake was like that too, leaked at least 10 days before release! lol

XtremeDude09
XtremeDude09

Its kind of sad to see all the good people recieving thumbs down for saying what ***** pirates are.

Banyek
Banyek

Wow at the beginning of the game, they try to make the troops speak hungarian, and they suck at it. Reach is a hungarian planet!!! holy sh*t! we rula HALO!

Wheelman112
Wheelman112

this is stupid its the companies fault it got leaked (initially) and these so called "modders" got there hands on it, i dont care what it is but if i had the option to get my hands on any game before its release i would grab it, not saying that i have but i would, im sure anyone would

kayoticdreamz
kayoticdreamz

ah yes another set of bans to people who already have like 10 xboxs probably. and the other 40000 ways to get around said bans. yes microsoft you stop those hackers because we all know hackers can be stopped. ill say it again those that want to buy the game will those that dont wont. nothing except perhaps God will stop that and even then He seems content on letting them do it for now.

senorbusyman
senorbusyman

yeah!! good job. you show them not to mess with the companies

k1ll8_saurav
k1ll8_saurav

It might be an Xbox/Gamertag ban now, but someday, someone will do something SSOOOOO bad, that Microsoft will ban your IP address. That's the day when hackers and modders will die. At least on Xbox, then Windows, the Playstation.

Rusty010
Rusty010

Pirates are stupid, think they own the world...dirty pirate hookers! Check out my profile blog, i got some good questions on there for Reach and COD vs Reach. Enjoy :-)

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

Right. It's stealing, plain and simple. Lots of talented and motivated people work really hard for months and months to produce something, then some wanker nicks it and gives it away for free to other wankers. And the cycle begins again. I wonder how these people would feel about going to work then being told at the end of the month, "sorry, someone's stolen the current market value of whatever you do all day. No salary this month". Thieving scum.

Darryl_Green
Darryl_Green

Ah yes "hackers", a group of pretentious pricks who think they are god who go around stealing from hardworking developers like Bungie. But I have since dismissed this claim.

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

Sure, that's a fair point. Thankfully, they were such complete cretins that they signed into Live, anyway. Which was great! Everybody on the anti-piracy team got to leave work early, that day. Beer o'clock...?!

dstv
dstv

well even if they didnt go online with the game microsoft could easily check their achievements and played games to find out and eventually ban them .....unless they have 2 x boxes of course

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

I agree with what's been said already. You need a Ph.D. in Dumbass to pirate a Halo game then sign into the Live servers. I mean, *really*. If there was a Darwin Award for Gamertags... ... I used to have pirated games when I was a kid, like, twenty years ago. For the Atari ST. But as I got older I came to recognise that it wasn't a sustainable way to behave. Certainly, when you're an adult and you're earning money, if you wanna play it, pay for it.

user_93475765
user_93475765

Honestly, I'm glad they have the decency to just ban people rather than try to sue them into bankruptcy like, say, the RIAA. Sure, pirating a new game is bad and all, but corporations tend to go waaay overboard. "Haha, we caught you, now you're banned from our servers" is a punishment that actually fits the crime.

torovieri
torovieri

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

tobbe4321
tobbe4321

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

it009x9281
it009x9281

Pirates are a diease on gaming:(

fester420
fester420

If you are playing a game while connected to Live before it is released then you deserve what you get. That's the penalty for stupidity.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

BTW, they don't seem to have a problem if you download Demos that were released elsewhere months before the US. Did anyone else here play the RE5 demo that was released in Japan before the US? It wouldn't let you load it if you were connected to live, but all you had to do was pop in the disc and hit play.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

As much as I would love to bash "The Man", MS in this case, it's waaay better than them using your account info to track and sue you. On the other hand........... MS, how in the hell did they get the finished code off your virtual market in the first place? Probably the same way people have been hacking Windows for years. People pirating games had no intent on buying the game whatsoever. Buying 2 360's and modding one may seem expensive to some, but to them it is a well spent investment. The only people that got caught were the idiots that couldn't wait until the 14th to go online and play the game. And let's stop lying to ourselves while we're at it. I'm pretty sure most of the people here over the age of 25 remember just copying programs from a friends PC back in the day. Doesn't make it right, but we did it. The original Prince of Persia fit on one 3.5 floppy, and the only thing you needed to Play Leisure Suite Larry games was a copy of the original instruction book.

XanderZane
XanderZane

noorct The problem with this idea of banning is that people with jtagged consoles can just go buy another key for $50. No muss no fuss, no need to get another console. *********************************************************** I think both their console and their gametags are perma-banned. They can buy a new consoles and create a new gametag and get back on XBox Live with no problems though, but their GameTag and console are toast. That's what they get.

XO422
XO422

PUT THEM IN JAIL SERIOUSLY

5TeN
5TeN

Good. They should be banned when pirating games.

scorpi13
scorpi13

That's exactly the right thing to do. Anyone who is trying to play a game before its release needs punishment.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Pirates always amaze me with how blaize they can be about things sometimes. Did they think that Microsoft just wouldn't notice? Boggles the mind.

enoslives7
enoslives7

microsoft treats their customers like indentured slaves. If you buy a 360, prepare to be told what to do and when to do it.

zymbo
zymbo

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Flint247
Flint247

On a positive note, I can't wait for Reach. :D

noorct
noorct

The problem with this idea of banning is that people with jtagged consoles can just go buy another key for $50. No muss no fuss, no need to get another console.

Fusco1980
Fusco1980

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ukogmickey
ukogmickey

@ dc337 You really think they care if they got the whole system bricked. Like ive said in previous comments. Think about it logically. Theyve done it once they will do it again. All the money they have saved on not having to buy games Im pretty sure 50 quid here and there for another console wont go a miss. Listen, Its like Imagine getting games free for howver long it is ? They get used to that and no way can they go back to paying 40-50 quid a pop. They just wouldnt do it. They would want another hacked console quicker than they can have their next meal.

bitpig
bitpig

if they don't want people downloading the game then maybe they should push the release date forward. I've never downloaded a pirate copy of a game but when the options are either play it now for free or pay £40 to play it in 3 , the former is a little more tempting!

FF7AdventGuy
FF7AdventGuy

@Okassar 150 bucks is also all it cost to have ANOTHER 360 that you can play online with. This way, you can still have alllll the other games, and pay for the ones u wanna play online. And i can vouch for most if not all pirates but outta 100 games they may pirate, theyll finish like 2, cuz with THAT many new games at their disposal, you dont have time to play JUST 1 games, then move on to the next. And to say that ppl pirate cuz they dont wanna pay to play it is usually not the truth. They pirate cuz they have interest in the game, but not enough that they would have gone out and bought. Theres too many terrible games being released lately that it gets frustrating spending $60+ on a game, only to beat it in 5 hours and it STILL sucked. And last of all, less than .1% of ppl actually pirate console games, which is nothing, companies just wanna make a statement. This will all pass just like how when music first started getting pirated. Look at music now? Do ppl still release new albums? Of course they do. Y? Because no matter what, ppl will pay for it, and they will want more and more, plain and simple. So consider me a pirate or not, idc, but if you like a game enough, support it, if not, dont, thats how i feel.

damaster101
damaster101

I don't care whether someone pirates a game or not, your just not very bright for trying with a game as popular as Halo Reach.

kamizuka
kamizuka

i bet they are only 12 year old kids; who would be so exited to do something illegal or show up online with a game that is not out for the public just for showing off knowing they will get banned for it. it is the time where the brain cells havent matured and those who guys didnt even have. @monson21502 makes sense man its an inside job

gohtingqi1997
gohtingqi1997

serve those hackers and modders right . I mean , if you dun hav the money to buy a REAL copy , than dun , you can always get older games which are still fun and not do stupid stuff like that , i mean when you get caught and your whole console's xbox live gets banned, then you would have to waste antother $200 bucks to buy a new console, wouldnt you end up having to waste MORE MONEY?

gohtingqi1997
gohtingqi1997

even if it doesnt work , i think alot of ppl willl still buy the real copy

monson21502
monson21502

oh. bungie was the one who helped hack this game.

monson21502
monson21502

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

GREENSLIPPERS
GREENSLIPPERS

this won't work because pirates drive a boat so they will be able to sail elsewhere, this is why i choose sea travel over land travel.

Hachibei
Hachibei

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

supernaught360
supernaught360

@tobbe4321 It requires tools to create art. Music, games, movies, anything you can think of. Since the artist has to pay for these manufactured tools, the artist also requires reimbursement to continue facilitating said art. And when you're willing to do it for free, my man, go ahead and do so. Let us know how it goes for you. You miss the point that art is work.

webby1
webby1

The people who play a pirated game like this online are stupid.

Chippy254
Chippy254

I'm glad that they're finally addressing this problem at long last but it will be interesting to see if they eventually change the policy on it because we all now that people like this eventually change they're tactics so they will eventually be back but I think if you did something like fine/take them to jail/juvy (and the reason I say juvy is because not every one is gonna be over 18) it would have more effect