Microsoft announced the free-to-play closed-beta Halo Online title last week, having it be restricted to players in Russia. The modding community did not agree with the company’s decision to lock the title to a specific region, so they leaked a copy of Halo Online and the tool to connect was uploaded on GitHub, only to be taken down by Microsoft later on.
“Microsoft is probably quite bothered by what we’ve done already as these files were leaked. We obtained the files from a user on 4chan’s /v/ board,” modder and team member ‘Woovie’ told TorrentFreak.”From there, user Emoose proceeded to create a hack that would allow the client to load files and thus get in-game,” Woovie adds. “He has in the past done the same for Halo 2 and Halo 3 betas so he had experience with this. The files we have are definitely an early internal alpha. A lot of left over code from other Halo games.”
So it means that the modding community has no intentions to stop its own little opened-beta with the leftover code they got their hands on. The question now is whether or not it will become a copyright issue with Microsoft.
“In terms of DMCA/C&D mitigation, we have made redundant git backups on private and public git servers. This is to ensure we will always have one working copy. These are being synchronized so that data is always the same,” Woovie explains.”Further DMCAs may happen potentially, it’s not really known at the moment. Our backups will always exist though and we will continue until we’re happy.”
Also, it seems that ElDorito team is keen on working on their own version of Halo Online for pure passion and it seems they have been a bit baffled by its restriction to Russia. This could mean more action by Microsoft, but team member Neoshadow42 states that the modding of leaked files is more of a service to them.
“As someone involved in-game development, I’m sympathetic with some developers when it comes to copyright issues. This is different though, in my opinion,” the dev explains.”The game was going to be free in the first place. The PC audience has been screaming for Halo 3 for years and years, and we saw the chance with this leak. The fact that we could, in theory, bring the game that everyone wants, without the added on stuff that would ruin the game, that’s something we’d be proud of.” he added. “I don’t particularly see this as damaging, as some people have said. I don’t believe it for a moment, honestly. We’re working to improve people’s experience, bring it to those who wouldn’t have been able to play it anyway. I’d see that as a noble cause.”
This may seem as a piracy act at first, but the developer explains it is not due to the title’s nature of free-to-play and the fact that the game will not be pay-to-play, which in the team’s eyes does not make it piracy.
“This whole project would be completely different in an ethical way if we had taken a paid game and reversed it for everyone to access for free,” Neoshadow42 insists.”At the end of the day, El Dorito aims to deliver exactly what everyone wants. The closest thing to a Halo 3 experience as possible, but on PC. If we can manage that, I’ll be more than happy.”
Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information