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Grand Theft Auto sequel leaked onto web

San Andreas slips out

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First Halo 2, now the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto series has leaked out onto the web, just days before its official launch.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' developer, Rockstar - the company behind the controversial Manhunt - said it would "diligently and aggressively" pursue the source of the leak and warned that "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".

It added: "Downloading, possession and distribution of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, including making the game available on the Internet, is theft."

Halo 2 leaked out last week, and we've heard suggestions that copies were available the previous week. However, that didn't stop Microsoft from being able to announce over 1.5m copies of the game had been pre-ordered through legitimate US channels. Halo 2 is due to ship on 9 November.

Plenty of illegal copies will undoubtedly result, but it's a sign of the scale of legitimate sales that Microsoft Xbox publishing and marketing chief Peter Moore was able to boast: "Halo 2 is projected to bring in more revenue than any day one box office blockbuster movie in the United States." Hardly evidence of an industry dying at the hands of pirates.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a similarly eagerly anticipated release, this time for the PlayStation 2, and is one of publisher Take Two Interactive's key Christmas releases. ®

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