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Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 and PC versions pirated ahead of tomorrow's release

Mass Effect 3  - 1008618

Mass Effect 3 won't officially release until tomorrow, but that hasn't stopped pirates from getting early copies of BioWare's highly anticipated RPG.

Over the weekend, illegal copies of Mass Effect 3, for both Xbox 360 and PC, were leaked online via numerous torrent sites just day before the game's release.

The Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 3 was first made available online, quickly followed by the PC version, allowing users to illegally download the game before Tuesday's release.

According to some reports, even the PS3 version of the game has been cracked and is ready to play.

Reports show the full game, a 16 GB file that requires being burned on two discs (or copied to the Xbox 360's hard drive), being leaked onto torrent sites.

Tbreak noted that while the full Xbox 360 version of the game is fully available, BioWare's requirement to play the game through Origin has prevented a crack for the PC version from leaking yet.

Mass Effect 3 is the latest in a line of games to be pirated ahead of release.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops were both made available illegally before launch. In a fairly similar case, Battlefield 3, which also requires Origin on PC, leaked onto torrent sites, but gamers were unable to access certain parts of the game because of an encoded, time activation that prevented pirates from making full use of the game.

While EA and BioWare are surely disappointed in the early leaks of the game, they can take comfort in knowing that Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops were both pirated early and later went on to be best-selling titles.  Of course, who knows how many more copies could've been sold had they not been pirated.

For those willing to purchase the game legally and enjoy the fact that they are supporting hard working devs who bring us these great games, Mass Effect 3 will be available tomorrow - Tuesday, March 6th for $59.99 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PS3.  For more information about the game feel free to visit the official website.

[Source 1, Source 2]

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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