When an early build of Gears of War 3 appeared online over this past week, many gamers began wondering how representative of the final product the file was and how Epic Games would respond to the leak. Thankfully, we didn’t need to wait too long as Epic has released an official statement that clears the air and reveals that the developer has put together plans to find those responsible.

As one of the Xbox 360’s most anticipated (and few) exclusives of this year, Gears of War 3 had a ton riding on its success — making this leak all the more unfortunate. But, as it turns out, this leaked build is actually not representative of the final product.

Sure, players will have full access to all the game’s multiplayer and single player offerings, but they won’t be working with the same product that will be on store racks in a couple of months.

Here’s the official statement from Epic’s Dana Cowley:

We have seen the reports of Gears of War 3 content being propped on the Web and working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation. This content is not from a final build and is not representative of what fans will enjoy when the game launches worldwide on September 20, 2011.

Though getting in on the Locust-chainsawing action early sounds like fun, if it doesn’t deliver the same quality experience as the final game it seems hardly worth all the potential legal trouble. Boasting tons of content — from a trilogy-ending campaign to Horde Mode 2.0 — Gears of War 3 is going to be well worth its price tag.

Despite being delayed into late 2011, Gears of War 3 has been delivering nothing but exciting content in preparation for a big triple-A release. While some will still continue to pirate this copy of Gears of War 3, those who are waiting patiently have a really fantastic (and legitimate) game on the way.

Are you planning on picking up Gears of War 3 when it releases in September? How do you think those who downloaded this early build of the game should be dealt with?

Gears of War 3 releases September 20, 2011 on the Xbox 360.

Source: Save and Quit