Mass Effect 2 Leaked for PC and Xbox 360

Mass Effect 2 will be released for Xbox 360 and PC Tuesday, January 26.

Mass Effect 2 was leaked online last Thursday, just five days before the game’s official release on Tuesday, January 26.

According to an article by TorrentFreak, both the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game are now being pirated online. There were already over 300,000 downloads of the game as of Sunday, January 24. At the time of this writing, some 30,000 users are currently downloading the game from a popular piracy site.

Downloaders have been vocal about the game experience so far. Apparently, hundereds of players have already completed the campaign, and many of them are posting rave reviews, claiming it bests its award-winning predecessor in terms of graphics, gameplay, and story. Most claim that they plan to purchase the game upon its release.

Those who buy the game will have an advantage over those who pirate it, thanks to Mass Effect 2’s use of the Cerebus Network, an online portal that contains downloadable content. New copies of the game will contain a Cerebus Network Card (which will grant the user free access to the additional content), whereas second-hand buyers will need to pay a one-time access fee. The card was originally intended to curb second-hand game purchases, but it also limits the content of pirated copies.

Though Mass Effect 2 has racked up hundreds of thousands of downloads over the weekend, it’s not the first—nor the most popular—title to be leaked online. Modern Warfare 2, the most recent in the Call of Duty series, has been illegally downloaded over 4 million times, according to TorrentFreak. Though the title was the most-downloaded game last year, it still managed to break commercial records. The game sold close to 5 million copies in the US and UK on the day of its release, and it earned a total of $550 million in its first five days on the market. On January 20, the NPD Group named it the fourth best-selling console game ever in the U.S., just two months after Modern Warfare’s 2 street debut.

Bioware has yet to comment on the leak of Mass Effect 2. Thousands of copies are currently being downloaded, but until the game’s release on January 26, it’s impossible to tell how the event will affect sales.

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Written by Robert L.

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