Talk about a lousy Valentine's Day gift for the folks at Crytek. EA has announced that an "early incomplete, unfinished build" of the upcoming shooter Crysis 2 leaked out and found its way onto BitTorrent sites. The publisher's statement expresses disappointment and urges PC gamers to wait until the game's retail release:
Crytek and EA are deeply disappointed by the news. We encourage fans to support the game and the development team by waiting and purchasing the final, polished game on March 22. Crysis 2 is still in development and promises to be the ultimate action blockbuster as the series’ signature Nanosuit lets you be the weapon as you defend NYC from an alien invasion. Piracy continues to damage the PC packaged goods market and the PC development community.
A thread over at the Facepunch forums reveals more details. Allegedly, the leak includes the full single-player game, the multiplayer component, the CryEngine 3 editor, and the "DRM Solidshield master key files" used for online activation. Some of the Facepunch regulars went as far as grabbing the leak and posting some screenshots, which are still in the thread right now.
This isn't the first time a major PC title has received such treatment, of course. Some might recall back in 2002 when id Software's Doom 3 E3 tech demo slipped out into the wild. That demo only included only a small amount of content and wasn't completely playable, however, so this latest leak seems like a more serious matter.
When I think about it, I can't help but lament the short-sightedness of the people responsible. For the short-term gain of letting pirates enjoy Crysis 2 before everybody else, they've given EA another opportunity to stigmatize and potentially marginalize the PC gaming community. The last thing we need is publishers being reinforced in their belief that PC gamers are robbing them of revenue—otherwise, I fear we might reach a point where there may no longer be big PC blockbusters to leak. (Thanks to TR reader Suspenders for the tip.)