The beneficiaries of a contest offering early access to a game have taken their price and made it available to all and sundry – somewhat distressing the publisher.
Gameloft held a competition offering a small number of players a chance to try mobile FPS Modern Combat 5 ahead of schedule. The game was promptly cracked and distributed to piracy sites.
In a statement, Gameloft said it has now switched on anti-piracy measures, leaving those who grabbed an illicit copy unable to use it (but not before thousands of people experienced it, apparently).
“Those who used this pirated version of the game just need to wait for the official game release. We will continue to stay alert and respond adequately to all hacking attempts,” the publisher said.
There may be more permanent consequences, however; community manager Florian Weber said he was “really pissed off” in a closed Facebook post, as transcribed by Polygon, threatening instant bans for anybody admitting to having a pirated copy.
The Modern Combat series has been remarkably popular. The latest instalment will be available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone on July 24.