Microsoft has announced that it has launched an investigation into the leak of its Halo: Reach Xbox game across the internet, three weeks before its release.
The company had released the full game codes for the upcoming title for reviewers on Xbox.com, but members of the GameTuts forum managed to intercept the code and leaked it across torrent websites over the weekend.
The BBC reports that the game has been downloaded hundreds of times since the leak.
Microsoft has launched a full investigation into the leak and has plans to permanently ban users who are found playing the illegally downloaded version of the game on Xbox Live.
Stephen Toulouse, the director of policy enforcement on Xbox Live, warned via Twitter that people who are found to be playing illegal copies of Halo: Reach will be banned for life.
He said: “As with all unauthorised play on Xbox Live, anyone playing any unauthorised title runs the risk of account permaban. Remember, legit store-bought copy runs no risk of ban. Key word: unauthorised. We have ways of knowing.”
The company has a history of banning users from the platform if they are found to be playing pirated versions of Xbox games.