Hello online, the series’ new free-to-play spin-off, is coming exclusively to Russian PCs in the coming weeks, and Microsoft wants to prevent it from leaking outside of that country. However, after files from the game were leaked and reused by modders, Microsoft responded by targeting Github with a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request from a modding team Hello online game launcher.
“This repository is currently disabled due to a DMCA takedown notice,” the link to the repository in Github currently says. “We have disabled public access to the repository. The notice has been posted publicly. If you own the repository and you believe your repository has been disabled due to an error or misidentification, you have the right to file a counter-notice and let the repository recover.”
The DMCA requires ISPs to remove infringing content or be held legally responsible for infringement.
But most gamers are not concerned with geographical restrictions. Modders who had access to those files then attempted to make the game fully playable no matter where the players were. But Microsoft says the game isn’t ready for global primetime just yet.
“Right now, our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia,” Microsoft announced on the Halo Waypoint blog last week. “Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia should have region-specific changes to meet players’ expectations.”
There’s also gameplay footage from the new game deleted from YouTube due to a DMCA notice. The 17 minute video, posted by Halo YouTuber noble, revealed cards and weapons in a first-person game”strongly based on Halo 3 with weapon and armor skins similar to Halo 4”, said MP1ST.
The DMCA claims should come as no surprise. Microsoft aggressively defends copyrights — including those of its gaming empire — against modders. For example, in 2009, Microsoft decided to cut off access to Xbox Live online gaming for those using modified Xbox consoles.
In addition, in 2010 the company supported the federal prosecution of a Southern California man accused of running a business out of his Southern California home by modifying the Xbox 360 firmware. The mod enabled the consoles to play pirated games. However, the charges against Matthew Crippen were dismissed after tampering by Los Angeles prosecutors.
Microsoft’s latest actions are a blow to it Halo diehards.
According to Se7enSins, the 25-member El Dorito modding team for Hello online was “building a framework to make the game playable, as well as a custom console with a plethora of features that we believe are necessary for the game.” That’s according to team member Pyong the site says it’s quoting.
a reddit thread have team member Swarmmm say, “Yeah, we’ve got it powered up in the menu, lobbies are working, and something special that everyone will go crazy over.”