Developer Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is easily one of most anticipated video games of 2016, so naturally PlayStation 4 owners will be salivating ahead of its launch next month. It’s the fourth and (supposedly) final game (at least from Naughty Dog) in the hugely popular adventure series that began at the tail-end of 2007 on PlayStation 3 with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Since then, its rugged hero Nathan Drake has become a recognized gaming protagonist, in a franchise that had shifted over 21 million copies over the years.

However, a mere two weeks prior to its official release (and after multiple delays) it’s been reported that some copies have been stolen while in-transit, meaning an unknown quantity of Uncharted 4 discs are currently in circulation.

Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, released a statement over social media and on the official PlayStation.Blog, reporting the theft and urged fans to refrain from being tempted to play a stolen copy. At present, it’s not known how many copies were taken but it’s believed the stolen games have made their way to parts of the UK . Yoshida assures fans that Sony are working with the police on the criminal matter and asks that fans wait for its official release.

An extremely talented team has worked long and hard to bring Nathan Drake’s greatest adventure to life and we would urge you to help us prevent this from being spoilt by not purchasing copies of the game ahead of the launch date. Please rest assured we will be very vigilant to protect you from this as far as we can so you can enjoy Uncharted 4’s experience to its fullest on May 10th.

Eurogamer previously reported that copies of the game had been seen on auction site eBay, where they were selling for up to £90 (that’s almost double the R.R.P. in the UK), but anyone tempted to pick up a stolen copy wouldn’t be doing themselves any favors. Not only could they be in hot water for handling stolen goods, but should their PSN accounts show they’ve playing it already, it could lead to Sony banning them or using their online activity as criminal evidence. After the eBay seller, known only as Dave, was contacted about the stock he was selling, he claimed it was part of a 10,000 copy stash that had been seized by HM Revenue and Customs due to unpaid VAT, whereby HMRC then sold the stock on, which all sounds a little suspicious.

Uncharted 4 Cover Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Copies Stolen by... Thieves

Stepping into reality for a moment, not only is a video game not worth almost £90 (that’s around $130) but there’s a genuine risk of getting into trouble with police. The hot copies will no doubt do the rounds and inevitably some gamers will get their hands on Uncharted 4 earlier than others, but at what long term cost to themselves? Let’s also hope that whatever spoilers lurk throughout the game and during its no doubt poignant finale aren’t shared ahead of time by the few gamers who simply cannot wait a few more weeks.

If you don’t have a PS4 and are interested in finishing Drake’s journey, check out the limited edition Uncharted 4 PlayStation 4 bundle available for (legal) pre-order.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is released worldwide on May 10, 2016.

Sources: Sony, Eurogamer

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