Following the illegal leaking of the new Microsoft Xbox game Halo Reach, the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) says this is a growing problem for businesses in the industry.
It is still three weeks until the game is set for its official launch, and the ERA is urging consumers to wait until September 14th to get their hands on “one of the biggest and most exciting games of 2010”.
Kim Bayley, Director General of the ERA, told Retail Gazette: “Piracy is one of the biggest challenges facing entertainment retailers and to producers of music, video and games.
“While to date piracy has most affected the music and video business we are increasingly seeing incidents like the Halo Reach leak.
“Retailers liaise closely with suppliers on the piracy issue and we note that Microsoft has indicated that players of illegally downloaded titles may find themselves locked out of their account on Xbox Live.”
Earlier versions of the Halo series have appeared online prior to their official launch dates, while Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 was another high profile victim of early leakage back in 2008.
A spokesperson for Microsoft told the BBC: “We are still investigating details surrounding a claimed leak of Halo Reach and have nothing further to share.”