Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 may have already brought in hundreds of millions of dollars for the developers behind it, Activision Publishing, but already pirates are jeopardising the success of the franchise as dozens of copies have been leaked to the web.
The most anticipated game of the year has already become the biggest entertainment launch in the history of gaming and has shattered one record along the way.
Piracy was one of the main reasons why Infinity Ward, the team behind Modern Warfare 2, moved to their new IWNET multiplayer setup. Their previous dedicated server-oriented solution was apparently not good enough to distinguish between illegal and legit game copies.
But a simple search on Google will unearth scores of links, either real, dead or fake, to websites that promises to deliver CoD MW2. A quick peak at one of the largest torrent trackers showed that there are several copies of CoD available - most of which are 11GB or bigger - with the most popular ones attracting more than 4000 seeders and at least ten times more leechers (downloaders).
One of the pitfalls of downloading bootlegged copies, other than the fact that you might end up with a dud, be nabbed by your ISP for piracy, ruin developers life blood and suffer from a malware backdoor, is the fact that cracked games will won't be able to offer the much coveted multi player option in most cases.
One of the guys who downloaded CoD MW2 said that "If you want MP (multi player), buy the game, if not, shut the f**k up and enjoy your free copy of MW2." So it seems that systems that require the player to log online and play with a virtual leash (either IWNET or Steam) could effectively reduce games piracy.