Mass Effect 3 accidentally leaked through Xbox Live

It looks like someone at Microsoft has egg on his face this morning after “human error” was blamed on an accidental release of an early look at Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect 3 is one of the most anticipated games for 2012 but until now, no one has been able to get their hands on the game.

So it was a huge stroke of luck for many gamers when they saw a beta version of the upcoming game was available on Xbox Live. Specifically, those who registered to be part of the Xbox Live Dashboard update were able to access a playable version of Mass Effect 3.

That was apparently a big mistake, and the company behind the game, Bioware, was just as surprised as anyone else.

“Microsoft has advised us that through human error at their end, content which was meant for internal beta testing was flagged incorrectly and released to individuals who had signed up for the beta of the Xbox Live dashboard update. It has since been taken down and deactivated,” Bioware said in a statement.

The company nevertheless acknowledged that many people got a chance to see the game before it was taken down, and many more saw and will continue to see the screenshots and video that were recorded.

To that end, Bioware would “like to stress that the leaked code is in a rough, unfinished state and was not meant for public release. The content is not final, and is not reflective of the quality of the finished, polished game.”

Mass Effect 3 is due out in March.