Well it was only a matter of time. Just as with Halo 4 before it, Gears of War: Judgment has leaked online, although it's done so a good month ahead of release; and, as with the Halo 4 debacle, Microsoft are threatening gamers with lifelong account and console bans if they're caught with illicit code.Gears of War: Judgment currently has a March 19th US release date, but hacker site abgx360 [via AGB] appears to be circulating the game ahead of release (the passed stealth check suggesting it's also been cracked for online play).
Eurogamer reports that Microsoft have sworn that there will be "vigorous action" against those who illegally download Gears of War: Judgment.
"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 the site this morning.
"Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services."
Of course, this isn't the first time that this has happened: both Gears 3 and Halo 4 leaked ahead of schedule, and Microsoft waved their banhammers then, kicking people from Xbox LIVE, and exiling account and consoles for life.