The first of the Halo: Reach PC betas began this weekend, and it took no time at all for people to do what people do. Tyler Davis of developer 343 Industries announced on Twitter that the first beta test, or "flight" in the Halo parlance, was "illegally distributed online" just after release.
Those who download or play the "illegal" copy of the game could have their accounts banned, while they might also be blocked from future beta tests.
According to Davis, this type of illegal activity is no surprise to 343.
"We knew this was something that likely would happen with our early flights," he said. "We are prepared for how to handle it on our ends and this is just more so a reminder warning to people that if they circumvent it there are consequences."
The first Halo: Reach PC beta began on June 28 and is scheduled to end on July 1. Another element of controversy surrounding the beta is that some people believe 343 gave preferential treatment to streamers or content creators in regards to access to the beta. This is not true, Davis said. Five out of six people granted access to the beta were chosen based on their PC hardware configurations, Davis said. The rest were content creators or "close friends" of 343 including professional gamers who have worked with Microsoft in the past. The terms of the Halo: Reach PC beta test state that footage cannot be streamed online.
Over time, 343 will expand the Halo: Reach for PC beta tests to include more people and provide access to different parts of the game. "We see the excitement and eagerness from the community to participate in these flights, and we hear you," 343 said in a blog post. "Just know that we are going to continue to invite more over time and get as many people in and providing feedback as possible but it's going to take some time so please hang in there.
The next beta test for Halo: Reach on PC will be released ... at some point. "As stated many times before, it's ready when it's ready," 343 said.
Separately, 343 also shared that Halo Reach's Forge and Theater modes won't be available right away on PC, so as to avoid delaying the core game.
There will be beta tests for Halo: Reach on Xbox One as well, but there is no word on when they might begin. In all cases, you need to sign up for the Halo Insiders program for a shot at getting in.
Halo: Reach is coming to PC through The Master Chief Collection, which will be available on Steam and Windows. It'll likely be a very long time before each title is released, as 343 is planning these betas for each title, spanning Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and finally Halo 4. Each game will be sold individually, while Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox One or PC can get them all as they're released at no extra cost.