If you're one of the gamers who downloaded a pirated copy of upcoming shooter Wolfenstein's multiplayer mode, Activision would like a word with you. A harsh word.
On its message board, the company had this to say about a recent internet code-leak:
"It was brought to our attention on Friday, 7/31 that a build of the Wolfenstein Multiplayer was leaked and is now being distributed illegally through breach of NDA and mirrors posted on the internet. I must warn anyone involved that Activision's legal department is taking this matter very seriously.
"Same applies here on the forums. If you mention that you have acquired this build, you are openly admitting to illegally obtaining the build and will be banned straight away. You have been warned.
With regards to any footage, screenshots and comments posted here and all over the internet, an important thing to keep in mind is that these were not created from a build of the game that was final or consumer ready. There's nothing we can do about it now except continue working on the game."
Ouch. Harsh, harsh words. These kinds of leaks place software companies in a precarious situation: I would think a good percentage of the people lining up to download and play Wolfenstein early are doing so because they're huge fans of the game, or can't wait for its release. So Activision is essentially legally threatening their biggest fans as well as the pirates they'd probably rather target. But what other option does the company have? You have to take some kind of action against piracy, and it must really, really suck to have your game leak out before you intended it to, especially if it's actually a not-finished build, as the company says. On the other hand, if commenters are identifying bugs and problems with the game, then letting Activision know about it, aren't they, in a sense, doing the company a favor? Should they really be banned for it?
What do you think about the way Activision is handling this situation? Is banning commenters from message boards for admitting they pirated a game fair? Is this even that big of a deal?
Also: I love melons.