What just happened? The First Halo: Reach PC beta has been running this weekend. As it was extremely limited in size---under 1000 people got beta keys---the test was "illegally distributed online" just after it arrived, and those who used it to play the game may suffer consequences.
Earlier this year, 343 Studios announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would be coming to the PC, encompassing every main Halo game released up until number 4.
The first 'flighting' test, as the betas are called, began on June 28, though its very small size meant many who applied to be part of it never received an invite. It consists of just one Halo Reach campaign mission, 'Tip of the Spear.' Not too surprisingly, the beta client was leaked online.
According to Tyler 'Postums' Davis, a community support and engagement coordinator at developer 343 industries, anyone who downloads or plays the illegal copy could have all their associated accounts banned and be removed from current and future 343 programs.
It has come to our attention that the Halo Insider flight has been illegally distributed online. If you download or play this illegal copy, we have the right to ban all associated accounts and remove you from all current or future 343 programs.--- Tyler "Postums" Davis (@343Postums) June 29, 2019
Rules >>> https://t.co/UuPqv8obE1 pic.twitter.com/oqPjp3oyhi
"We knew this was something that likely would happen with our early flights," Davis added, in a separate tweet. "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."
Some people had claimed 343 Industries favored game streamers and content creators when it came to handing out beta keys, but Davis said 5 out of 6 people were chosen specifically because of their hardware setups, while the rest were content creators and close friends of the studio, including pro players it had worked with in the past.
No word on when the second beta test will hit the PC, but we shouldn't have to wait too long. The Halo Master Chief Collection is set to arrive sometime this year.