The Early Access version of the long-awaited space-based RPG game Starfield went live for the general public at 8 pm Eastern time on Thursday. However, it didn’t take very long for a hacker group to claim it has already cracked the PC version on Steam.

According to this Reddit post, a group called Rune claims it has cracked Starfield. Torrent and pirate sites are now offering download of the game for free in a 116.62 GB package. The post added a couple of notes for those pirates, stating that they should block the game’s .exe file on their PC firewall so that it would not try to connect online.

The latest open-world RPG from developer Bethesda Game Studios is, without a doubt, the most ambitious project ever from the team behind the Elder Scrolls game series and Fallout 4, among others. It’s also the biggest first-party game in several years from Bethesda’s parent company Microsoft. The prospect of lost sales from a pirated version of Starfield so quickly after its initial release is likely not what Bethesda or Microsoft wanted to experience.

So far, Starfield’s initial review scores have leaned mostly on the positive side. Metacritic currently has an aggregate score of 87 for the media outlets that got review codes of the game ahead of its release. A few major outlets, like IGN, GameSpot, and Digital Trends have not been quite as kind, giving the game lower marks like 7 out of 10 or 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

The game will launch for people who pre-ordered the standard edition starting on September 5 at 8 pm Eastern time. Bethesda will release at least one story-based expansion pack for Starfield, and it has stated that official mod support will be added sometime in the future.


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