Halo: Reach PC Beta Gets "Illegally Distributed," Bans Coming Down

People wasted no time violating the Microsoft code of conduct.

31 Comments

The first of the Halo: Reach PC betas began this weekend, and it took no time at all for people to do what people do. Tyler Davis of developer 343 Industries announced on Twitter that the first beta test, or "flight" in the Halo parlance, was "illegally distributed online" just after release.

Those who download or play the "illegal" copy of the game could have their accounts banned, while they might also be blocked from future beta tests.

According to Davis, this type of illegal activity is no surprise to 343.

"We knew this was something that likely would happen with our early flights," he said. "We are prepared for how to handle it on our ends and this is just more so a reminder warning to people that if they circumvent it there are consequences."

The first Halo: Reach PC beta began on June 28 and is scheduled to end on July 1. Another element of controversy surrounding the beta is that some people believe 343 gave preferential treatment to streamers or content creators in regards to access to the beta. This is not true, Davis said. Five out of six people granted access to the beta were chosen based on their PC hardware configurations, Davis said. The rest were content creators or "close friends" of 343 including professional gamers who have worked with Microsoft in the past. The terms of the Halo: Reach PC beta test state that footage cannot be streamed online.

Over time, 343 will expand the Halo: Reach for PC beta tests to include more people and provide access to different parts of the game. "We see the excitement and eagerness from the community to participate in these flights, and we hear you," 343 said in a blog post. "Just know that we are going to continue to invite more over time and get as many people in and providing feedback as possible but it's going to take some time so please hang in there.

The next beta test for Halo: Reach on PC will be released ... at some point. "As stated many times before, it's ready when it's ready," 343 said.

Separately, 343 also shared that Halo Reach's Forge and Theater modes won't be available right away on PC, so as to avoid delaying the core game.

There will be beta tests for Halo: Reach on Xbox One as well, but there is no word on when they might begin. In all cases, you need to sign up for the Halo Insiders program for a shot at getting in.

Halo: Reach is coming to PC through The Master Chief Collection, which will be available on Steam and Windows. It'll likely be a very long time before each title is released, as 343 is planning these betas for each title, spanning Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and finally Halo 4. Each game will be sold individually, while Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox One or PC can get them all as they're released at no extra cost.

Microsoft will also offer pre-release beta tests for Halo Infinite on Xbox and PC, but there is no word yet when they will begin.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Official PC Announcement Trailer

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 31 comments about this story
31 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

2043

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 139

User Lists: 0

well i see why people would do it, it is one of great first person shooter series. but for me is okay like the rest.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for gamergirl24
gamergirl24

2

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 5

I’m in shock that the game was released. I’ve never played Halo personally, but I have seen the previous game on YouTube. I wish people would take the Terms & Conditions seriously! It isn’t fair to spoil the game beforehand. Hopefully this issue will get resolved soon!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for samurninsai
samurninsai

44

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Wow these people have the right to do that? I thought they needed to get their hands on the product, to even be able to share it. I suppose there's something sneaking suspicion, there's a rightful conduct with permissions we can't see. Then again some people do what ever they can, to share what they know how to exploit. Question is who and how do they have the knowhow?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for shuttle_cock
Shuttle_Cock

111

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Welcome to PC, Halo.

4 • 
Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

12552

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Mogan  Moderator

Here's what a developer posted on the Steam forums:

"This was not, and is not, a beta. These are flights that we are using to gather information and feedback on things, chiefly hardware currently.

We aren't restricting things for fun, we need very specific telemetry and are scaling things according to our internal plans. If we could let everyone flight, we would, but we can't.

Do not download and play illegal copies of the game."

https://steamcommunity.com/app/976730/discussions/0/1639789306558810970/

2 • 
Avatar image for nargg
Nargg

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

Edited By Nargg

@Mogan: So, doesn't matter if it was bootlegged or not then? All this drama over something so insignificant as what appears to be a "hardware test" or at least something that should have been more controllable. A publicly announce beta usually are expected to be shared, because you can't control crowd mentality. 343 might be more careful or end up hurting themselves. Recent Halo versions have killed my interest in this game enough as it is. I'll probably wait for this one to go on sale a month after release due to poor sales anyway.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

5538

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Lol and PC gamers wonder why it's taken this long for Halo to come to PC. Because they actually wanted to sell some copies of it first lol ?

4 • 
Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

4410

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By BDRTFM

Pirates and hackers/cheaters always have to ruin everything.

6 • 
Avatar image for aiyobro
aiyobro

73

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 0

why is this taking so long, they litterally use mouse and keyboard when they develop it

2 • 
Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

5538

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Marky360

@aiyobro:

LOL no they don't

2 • 
Avatar image for nargg
Nargg

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

@Marky360: You're new to game development I guess?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

5538

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@nargg:

No I've been developing games for years but I assume you're one of newbies who keeps fucking things up now a day's. Maybe you should sit back and let your elders show you how to put out a full complete working product without having to patch it day one lol ?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

39330

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By DaVillain-  Moderator

They knew the risk and paid the ultimate price.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for EvilTyger
EvilTyger

110

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I had actually gotten one of the 'friends and family' for Halo 3 beta. Community activity can be rewarded like that. Public betas are a promotional tool, and people that will build hype are a resource.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

1728

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@EvilTyger: except this wasn't intended to be "public" per se.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for EvilTyger
EvilTyger

110

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@twztid13: it is when compared to normal, in house beta testing.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for nargg
Nargg

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

@twztid13: Publicly announced, which is pretty much the same thing.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for dlM0kn
dlM0kn

223

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 15

User Lists: 0

Edited By dlM0kn

dangit I didn't even know there was going to be a beta test. I'm sorry but I don't see the problem of people wanting and finding a way to play a beta of a game. To say that people played it illegally leads me to believe that you wanted a small, select group of your choosing such as journalists, youtubers and people within the company that you could trust to give constructive criticism. Thus, you gave preferential treatment. Ah well, I look to barely being able to run this game and getting wrecked in pvp.

4 • 
Avatar image for shakesmcqueen
ShakesMcQueen

114

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@dlM0kn: It's a closed, limited beta - not an open one. Less than 1000 people are in it, and the TOS even say not to record or stream footage, so there wouldn't be much point in giving Twitch streamers access.

There's a fairly large community of Halo-focused content creators on YouTube, so I'll bet they all got access.

2 • 
Avatar image for nargg
Nargg

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

@shakesmcqueen: Link to player count showing 1000? Or are you just guessing?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

1860

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 0

Edited By SuperKlyph

@dlM0kn: "To say that people played it illegally leads me to believe that you wanted a small, select group of your choosing..."

That's how beta tests work. Public betas are very uncommon, and often just for promotional purposes.

4 • 
Avatar image for asmcint
asmcint

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

If 1 out of 6 were explicitly chosen due to connections or their status as content creators, that means that 1 out of 6 were given preferential treatment, and 343's denial of preferential treatment is patently false.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for gsbliss
gsbliss

46

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@asmcint: Why do you care if 343 gave preferential treatment to beta testers? It's their game and they can do what they want before they begin selling it.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for shakesmcqueen
ShakesMcQueen

114

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@asmcint:

All he said was that 5/6 people chosen were not content creators of any kind. And who cares? Halo has a large content-creator community, who are highly likely to make videos based on their experiences with the beta, giving detailed feedback of what they thought, which is the entire point of the test.

It's a closed beta. They can invite whoever they want. This is a "controversy" founded on nothing more than sour grapes from people who weren't one of the ~1000 people selected.

4 • 
Avatar image for asmcint
asmcint

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@shakesmcqueen: "The rest were content creators or "close friends" of 343 including professional gamers who have worked with Microsoft in the past."

Take care to actually read the article next time, bud.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for shakesmcqueen
ShakesMcQueen

114

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@asmcint: Which means they aren't denying anything, pal.

Explaining in detail who they invited, is the opposite of denial, guy. They denied that all/most of the invites were given to "influencers", because it isn't accurate, boss.

3 • 
Avatar image for asmcint
asmcint

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By asmcint

@shakesmcqueen: They denied offering preferential treatment carte blanche, and then immediately turned around and admitted to what amounts to giving 1/6 of the players preferential treatment. I don't even care that they gave those people the access, I just care that they're actively being disingenuous about it and idiots like you are eating it up.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

2071

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 0

@shakesmcqueen: Actually, I was one of the few invited and I declined or never bothered to dl the beta and I do not work for MS or 343. It was an closed beta point blank.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

2378

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 15

User Lists: 0

@asmcint: theyre atleast sure to give feedback. why offer beta for millions of players who give absolutely no comments or at very best write about 3 forms on a survey form?

beta is a beta. if it was ready they would sure as shit sell it to make money

3 • 
Avatar image for nargg
Nargg

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

@PrpleTrtleBuBum: If it were true beta, they wouldn't announce it to everyone either. That's kind of stupid on a whole new level.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

11463

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 19

User Lists: 0

Edited By Barighm

@asmcint: Yeah, no kidding. 343 isn't at Bungie's level. Bungie would just lie outright...and it would be years before we found out.

2 •