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Now piracy curse strikes GTA: San Andreas

Illegal copies spread onto the net nine days ahead of Euro release.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has become the latest big name title to fall victim to the determined efforts of the piracy scene as the PS2 Rockstar opus leaked onto illegal download channels today.

The news follows just a week after a French language version of Halo 2 suffered the same fate, although in that case the leak was an unprecedented 26 days ahead of its release. However, it will be of little consolation to Rockstar that its biggest game in two years has just six more days to go until its US debut, and nine days before its European release.

It remains to be seen how hard the underground piracy scene will affect sales of the game, although it must be noted that the only way to actually play the game will be via an illegally modded PS2 - a tiny fraction of the installed base. That Doom III was downloaded illegally by hundreds of thousands of PC gamers did not halt its sales, and Rockstar will be hoping that users who download the game will nevertheless go on and buy the game anyway.

At the time of going to press, Rockstar was unavailable for comment. We will update you as soon we hear more.

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