Modern Combat 5 Pirated Ahead of Launch After Dev Gives Fans Early Access

Thousands of copies of the shooter were downloaded over the weekend, and it's still days away from launch.

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To promote the release of Modern Combat 5: Blackout later this week, developer Gameloft recently held a contest that provided winners with early access to this latest game in its mobile first-person shooter series. Things quickly went awry as the game was cracked and distributed online as early as Friday, leading to thousands of pirated copies of Blackout being downloaded in the week prior to its launch.

Gameloft issued a statement to GameSpot today, confirming it's dealt with those playing pirated copies. "Following the release of several pirated versions of Modern Combat 5 prior the release of the game, we have turned on our anti-piracy systems and now all illegitimate users on a non-official version have been incapacitated," the company said.

In a post on a Modern Combat Facebook group (via Polygon), Gameloft community manager Florian Weber wrote, "As you can imagine I am really pissed off. To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them?" He also threatened bans for anyone who had proven they were already playing Blackout.

Numerous Twitter users posted openly on the site over the weekend about playing the game, which was reportedly hacked to allow the use of infinite ammo when playing online. A listing on an unofficial iOS app store hosting the cracked game showed it had been downloaded more than 3,000 times as of yesterday--this despite the app store in question not being the original source of the pirated game.

A number of videos posted to YouTube showing gameplay from pirated copies of MC5 have been removed due to Terms of Service violations. However, videos with hundreds of views detailing the process of obtaining the game--which involves having a jailbroken phone--remain online. That may no longer be an issue with Gameloft having taken action, but the leaked version also included the game's single-player, resulting in videos being shared online that show the game's ending. At least one such video remains online as of this writing.

Blackout, which was on display at E3 last month, is scheduled for release this Thursday, July 24, on iOS and Android for $6.99. According to Gameloft, "Those who used this pirated version of the game just need to wait for the official game release." In other words, any bans imposed on pirates are not permanent.

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