Those found to be playing Gears of Wars: Judgement early can expect a swift can of whoop-ass courtesy of Xbox 360 platform holder Microsoft.
It emerged last night that an unfinished (but mostly fully-featured) version of the game – which is not due for release until March 22nd – is available to download illegally online.
The development led to a rush of spoiler videos on YouTube.
Now Microsoft has vowed what it describes as “vigorous action” against those who download and play the game on their illegally chipped consoles.
"We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately," a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer.
"Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services."
What action Microsoft can take is limited, of course, and will likely take the form of console and Gamertag bans.