Permanent Xbox LIVE bans have been issued by Microsoft to those found to have played a pirated version of Halo 4, users on Reddit have reported.

Microsoft's LIVE enforcement team has been dispatching permanent ban notifications to offenders, citing "prerelease title play" as the reason.

And when Microsoft says permanent it means it, stating: "Your Xbox LIVE privileges will not be reinstated."

The bans follow reports of widespread availability of a leaked copy of Halo 4 on torrent websites, leading to videos of the game being posted to YouTube.

Halo 4 will be released worldwide on November 6.