New York (NY) - Rockstar's latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto series does not come out until next week, but some gamers are getting their GTA IV fill now because of a pirated version that was posted online.
The European PAL version of the Xbox 360 game has reportedly been ripped and posted to an online torrent site, which could then be burned to a disc and played on the Microsoft console.
Gaming site Kotaku reports that at around 7:50 AM EDT yesterday, the file made its way around multiple torrent websites. At 6.32 GB it appears to be the entire game.
This Youtube video was pulled less than an hour after it was posted.
The NTSC version of the game, which is the format used in North America, is expected to be ripped within the next day or so.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Playstation 2 was also leaked a week early. The violent franchise is console gaming gold, and as such it has a very loyal fan base.
Electonic Arts tried to acquire Rockstar's parent company Take-Two ahead of the GTA IV launch, but Take-Two vehemently refused to accept the offer. EA's proposition remains on the table, though.
Grand Theft Auto IV will be released on April 29 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Many stores including Gamestop and Best Buy will be holding special midnight openings for the anticipated title.