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Friday, October 22, 2004
 Grand Theft Auto San Andreas leaked by pirates
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Message Text: "Steal this game" message taken a bit too literally.

Rockstar's PS2 title Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has become the latest high-profile game to be leaked onto the Internet significantly ahead of its release date, with copies in circulation six days before its US launch.

While it's common for games to be released through pirate channels a couple of days before launch, the leaking of Take Two's biggest title in two years - and arguably the biggest PS2 game of the year - a week before its launch still represents a major issue for the industry.

Only last week, a working version of Bungie's Halo 2 - albeit in French - was released onto the Internet a month before its launch date, meaning that this Christmas' headline titles for both Xbox and PS2 have been pirated well ahead of launch.

Actual pirate downloads are likely to represent only a tiny drop in the ocean of sales that these two titles will generate, but what's more worrying is that the leaks will ensure that commercial pirate copies will turn up on the market before the retail launch of the games.

Update 10.18am:
Rockstar has responded to the leak with the following statement: "Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software are aware that an illegally obtained version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and images from the game and manual have been posted to various sites."

"The proper authorities are investigating the theft and are continuing to investigate all possible leads to ensure there is no further dissemination of our creative content. Downloading, possession and distribution of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, including making the game available on the Internet, is theft."

"We take the theft of our intellectual property very seriously and we are and will continue to diligently and aggressively pursue this matter. If anyone finds information on websites with links to unauthorised downloads, information, scans or videos, please contact us at piracy@rockstargames.com."

From gamesindustry.biz

 
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