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'Gears of War: Judgement' leaks early, Microsoft threatens pirates with lifetime Xbox Live ban

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Gears of War Judgement
Gears of War Judgement

A leaked version of Gears of War: Judgement has reportedly begun circulating around the internet, and Microsoft is promising swift action against anyone who downloads it. According to Eurogamer, the apparently complete game surfaced on several torrent sites early Tuesday morning, more than a month ahead of its official March 22nd release. In response, Microsoft has vowed to take "vigorous action" against Xbox Live users who play it, threatening perpetrators with a lifetime console ban.

"We take vigorous action against illegal activity."

"We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services."

The company adopted a similar stance (and virtually identical language) late last year, when copies of Halo 4 appeared online ahead of its release. At the time, some violators had their Xbox Live accounts "permanently suspended," barring them from gaming online. Microsoft says it's willing to apply the same punishment to anyone who obtains pirated copies of Gears of War.

"Playing pirated copies of games, such as Gears of War: Judgment, is a violation of the Xbox Live Terms of Use and will result in enforcement action, such as account and console bans," the company said.