I am not sure how I feel about all of this.
When Halo Online was first revealed, a lot of people were intrigued- a PC only Halo game, with all the best parts (namely, the multiplayer) thrown together into one package? Yes please. Sadly, it turned out to be too good to be true, as the game was eventually revealed to be gratuitously laden with microtransactions, and, to add insult to injury, exclusive to Russia.
I don’t get it.
And neither did anyone else, it seems. Modders are, as of right now, already hard at work to address both these problems- removing the microtransactions, and somehow making the game available globally.
“We of course still don’t know 100 per cent what items are purchasable with real money, but it would appear at first glance to have pay-to-win potential,” modder Woovie told TorrentFreak. “We also of course want to play this game, which as far as we see, is a Russian market only game.
“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. From there, user Emoose proceeded to create a hack that would allow the client to load files and thus get in game. The files we have are definitely an early internal alpha. A lot of left over code from other Halo games.”
But of course, Microsoft already issued a cease and desist to the modders, citing the DMCA. What does the modding team think about that?
“In terms of DMCA/C&D mitigation, we have made redundant git backups on private and public git servers,” Woovie said. “This is to ensure we will always have one working copy. These are being synchronized so that data is always the same.
“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.
“The game was going to be free in the first place,” he added. “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.”
How this battle between Microsoft, and people whom Microsoft perceive to be pirates, ultimately plays out remains to be seen.