Today we dig deeper into this story, uncovering additional details and video footage. WARNING: If you don’t want to see the first few moments of Black Ops, do not view the video!
Disclaimer: HookedGamers reports on this story solely to provide news and are not involved in any other way. We do not condone the theft of a game or the illegal copying and distribution of games.
This video shows someone by the name of ‘Oskie’ showing off his own copy of Black Ops, putting the disc into his Xbox and booting it. We see the very beginning loading scenes of the game, as well as the main menu – while sending a message to one ‘denk105’.
HookedGamers was able to contact and interview one of the senior members of the underground hacking forum at the center of this evolving story. This is the very same forum where Treyarchs community manager, Josh Olin, joined and attempted to negotiate the recovery of the disk. To protect our source's identity, we have changed his name to “J”.
HookedGamers How did you come to find out about the stolen copies of Black Ops?
J When I logged on that evening, I had an email telling me to jump onto the forums and that something pretty serious was going down. I checked the forums, and people were saying that there were a few stolen copies of the game up for grabs. Some members of the forum, including myself, got together to do a donation drive to purchase one of the copies – with the intent to leak it to the internet.
HookedGamers Surely you don’t feel that stealing should be rewarded in such a way?
J No, I don’t – but the guy selling copies would find buyers anyway, most likely private people just wanting to get their hands on the game early… This way we could share the love with everyone, and not just limit it to a small handful of people. We’ve done similar releases far, far in advance.
HookedGamers What happened with the copy of Black Ops, do you guys have it?
J No, unfortunately. We paid Ungodly Leaker to purchase the copy, which he did – while using someone else as a courier (he does not live near the person selling the copies). During this time, JD_2020 (That’s Josh Olin, Treyarchs community manager) joined the forum and tried to get in touch with many senior members, including myself. We spoke via AIM and then the phone, for a good while. He seemed like a cool guy. It seems like Treyarch/Activision were pretty on the ball however, our courier was intercepted before he could deliver the game to Ungodly Leaker – The courier says that the FBI were involved, but Josh specifically stated that no FBI were involved – It would not surprise me to find that they offered to buy the copy from him for a much larger sum.
HookedGamers What did you two talk about?
J Mostly he wanted to know about other members of the forum, including those responsible for leaking the Beta release to the world. He knew a huge amount about regulars of the site, including Ungodly Leaker himself. I was very worried for him (in a legal sense) so I offered up as much information as I could to Josh to get him to be lenient on him. We had a similar situation with someone last year, and we know that he ended up with a criminal record out of it. He threatened to close the site if a leak was made public, not that he could because we host none of it on the site.
HookedGamers And the ‘Oskie’ copy?
J A completely different copy that we have now received and are working on distributing.
And so the interview ends.
Ultimately, leaks are commonplace in the industry, and they are usually Xbox 360 copies – However the three week lead-time before release would be one of the biggest and earliest leaks in the history of gaming. If our interviewee is to be believed, copies of the game are already being distributed via underground networks, such as UseNet, and once shared there is no getting them back.
The underground hacking community have shared a lot of internal details about Josh Olin, including his AIM details and his internal phone number. No doubt these are now being targeted by trolls and JD_2020 will have to change them... HookedGamers sends their heartfelt sympathy out to him for
the numerous attacks he has likely received.
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