Just a few days short of its official debut at retail stores, BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 has become widely available on file-sharing networks. The leak has resulted in massive piracy as more than 300,000 gamers have either downloaded or are in the process of downloading a copy of the highly anticipated game via BitTorrent.
Last Thursday, both the PC and Xbox360 versions of the upcoming Mass Effect 2 game leaked to BitTorrent, which didn’t go unnoticed by the masses.
The game is scheduled to be sold in stores starting Tuesday in North America and Friday throughout Europe, but many curious customers couldn’t wait until then and have downloaded an unauthorized copy instead.
At the time of writing, tens of thousands of people are downloading the game, which is more than 14 gigabytes worth of data for the PC version and over 13 gigabytes for the Xbox360 version. According to the latest statistics gathered by TorrentFreak, more than 300,000 people started downloading the files in the past days.
All purchased copies of Mass Effect 2, developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, will come with a ‘Cerberus’ Network Card. The card is required to download in-game items and new missions that will become available when the game is officially released, but it’s possible to play the game just fine without it.
According to reports from many downloaders, the game lives up to its expectations. Hundreds of people have reported their successful completion of the game already, in playing times ranging from 10 hours to well over 30 hours.
Although the ‘Cerberus’ Network Card might not prevent people from grabbing an early copy of the game on BitTorrent, it might help to convert illegal downloaders who like the game into buying customers, if it’s not hacked or cracked itself.
Whether Mass Effect 2 will come close to the massive popularity of Modern Warfare 2 among BitTorrent users is doubtful, but the game will certainly make an appearance in the 2010 most pirated games list later this year.