A loose-knit modding community is showing defiance in the wake of the recent DMCA takedown of the leaked, closed beta code for the Halo Online. Members of that community spoke to TorrentFreak recently about their goals to create a microtransaction-free version of the game that's playable outside of the Russian market that is the game's only official home for the time being.

Much of the motivation for the "ElDorito" hacking project seems to be a desire to simply play a new Halo game on the PC, a desire Microsoft has failed to satisfy since releasing a 2007 port of Halo 2. "The PC audience has been screaming for Halo 3 for years and years, and we saw the chance with this leak," modder Neoshadow42 told the site. "The fact that we could, in theory, bring the game that everyone wants, without the added on stuff that would ruin the game, that’s something we’d be proud of."

That "added stuff" refers to the free-to-play game's microtransaction model, which appears to let players purchase different classes of armor and rent time-limited weapons for real-world cash. As Neoshadow42 sees it, developing a truly free version of Halo Online that works independent of that infrastructure isn't the same as cracking a standard pay-to-play game.