llegal copies of the new GTA IV game appear to be available for download from bit torrent file-sharing sites, six days before the game is officially released.
According to the games website Kotaku, the first ripped files were found online at lunchtime today. The files in question are supposedly an illegal copy of the Xbox 360 version of the game, and have been seeded across various torrent sites by a group calling themselves iCON.
At the moment, the rip is only compatible with the PAL television format, which means people in Europe, Australia, Japan and parts of Asia can download and play the file. Game fans in the US and other countries that use the NTSC format are expected to be able to download a ripped version for their region from the internet within the next 48 hours.
Grand Theft Auto IV, which gets its official global release on April 29, is expected to sell around six million copies in its first week on sell, earning the game's publisher, Rockstar Games, about Â£200 million.