In a move which defies Microsoft's insistence to keep Halo 2's plot and details a secret, copies of the game have already been sold, for as much as USD 265.
Although Tuesday November 9 is the official launch date for the highly anticipated sequel, copies have found their way to the Internet auction site Ebay. The most profitable sale was one completed on Thursday which saw an in-hand copy of the USD 55 special edition Halo 2, including special packaging and a bonus DVD, reach a staggering USD 265 final sale figure.
Microsoft has, of course, not commented on the actual case in question but has stressed that it is working hard to ensure that all gamers get the same enjoyment from Halo 2 once it is released, something impossible if the PC version isn't released at the same time we say but that is unlikely. In any case the leaks which led to the appearance of the Halo 2 Ebay copies, must have been very limited since only a handful made it to the auction website.
The appearance of the French version of the game last month on filesharing sites was the biggest blow to Microsoft's efforts to keep the storyline a secret but it is unlikely to affect sales, especially when considering that 1.5 million pre-orders have already been received by the Halo 2 publisher.
We will not stoop to discussing comments claiming that the fact that a French copy was leaked meant that the game received maximum publicity for minimal sales damage but we will say that a game that features multiplayer action as one of its major weapons is unlikely to be affected by such leaks anyway.
A Meijer Inc. spokesman denied recent reports claiming that copies had been sold at a few stores owned by Midwest retail chain. John Zimmerman said, There is absolutely no truth to that at all.
So Ebay and filesharing sites aside, the world is holding its breath as we can now clearly hear the roar of Master Chief's Warthog.