Rockstar Games has reacted to the "theft" of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas by promising to "diligently and aggressively pursue this matter," as the hugely anticipated PS2 title spread across newsgroups and websites offering illegal downloads, but says that the game's launch has not been affected.
GTA: San Andreas will be officially released in the US on October 26th, with the European version launching on October 29th.
"Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software are aware that an illegally obtained version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and images from the game and manual have been posted to various internet sites," the company confirmed in a statement overnight.
"The proper authorities are investigating the theft and are continuing to investigate all possible leads to ensure there is no further dissemination of our creative content. Downloading, possession and distribution of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, including making the game available on the internet, is theft.
"We take the theft of our intellectual property very seriously and we are and will continue to diligently and aggressively pursue this matter. If anyone finds information on websites with links to unauthorized downloads, information, scans or videos, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Rockstar's stance on the piracy is similar to that adopted by Microsoft last week in light of Halo 2's leak - which came some 30 or so days ahead of the game's official US release date, November 9th.