If Bloodborne fans are mad about the lack of a PC release, imagine how Halo fans must feel. The series is set to make its long awaited return to the PC platform later this spring, but there’s a catch, the Halo 3 based free to play shooter is geo-restricted to the Russian market. So how are those Halo fans feeling? In a word: defiant.
A loose knit group of modders calling themselves team El Dorito announced last week that they had obtained a leaked copy of the game and were working on a launcher that would bring it to a wider audience. Not only were they going to make the game playable outside of Russia, they were also working on a rich set of features that they believed were “necessary to the game.” It was a community project, and continues to be so. Despite the DMCA notice that Microsoft served Github, where the launcher was being hosted, the game files themselves appear to remain available in various locations.
Representatives from Team El Dorito—some of whom have previously been identified as experienced devs, even some who have worked on previous Halo projects—have spoken on their motives in an interview published yesterday. Their main goal seems to be the obvious one, to make the game playable outside of Russia, but furthermore they object to the game a being set up on a “pay to win” model. While potential further actions Microsoft appear to have put the team’s efforts on hold, the interview gives no indication that they won’t continue working towards what they see as a noble cause.
The game was going to be free in the first place. The PC audience has been screaming for Halo 3 for years and years, and we saw the chance with this leak. The fact that we could, in theory, bring the game that everyone wants, without the added on stuff that would ruin the game, that’s something we’d be proud of.
So, is this another case of so-called entitled gamers asking for something that isn’t necessarily owed to them, or did Microsoft set themselves up by dangling the crown jewel of their gaming empire just out their audience’s reach?