Halo 3 Beta Gaffe Angers Gamers

Microsoft has fixed some early issues in its Halo 3 beta offering for those who purchase the game Crackdown, as well as agreeing to extend the beta period by one week to June 10..

The beta of the next Halo game has been much hyped by Microsoft since November of last year when plans were first announced. Crackdown was released in February with the promise that those who had the disk would be rewarded with first access to the code.

On May 16 at 5:00am Pacific, game owners were to receive access, but it failed to materialize. In fact, by all accounts, it was nearly 14 hours later -- around 7:00pm Pacifc -- before the issue was finally addressed.

Angry gamers began lashing out both at Bungie and Realtime Worlds (the maker of Crackdown. Most blamed Bungie for the issue, who worked quickly to assure those concerned that it had alerted Microsoft's Xbox Live team to the error.

Some even blamed Realtime, although they had no direct involvement other than allowing the key on their discs. Spokepeople for the company said they were pleased with the way Microsoft had handled the problem and did not have further comment.

So what happened? According to Microsoft, it was an issue with Xbox Live itself. Even though an update for the Crackdown game was issued to remedy the problem, the error was with Xbox Live's systems handing the Halo 3 beta.

As a result of the problems surrounding the release of the beta, Microsoft and Bungie have decided to extend the beta test period to June 10 at 11:59pm Pacific. However, complete details beyond Microsoft's public statements on what occurred have not been released.

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