After it was first announced in July of 2009, the free release of MechWarrior 4 has finally been cleared by Microsoft. The announcement comes weeks after MekTek, the studio behind the free release, revealed that the project was being held up by Microsoft's legal department. The delay resulted in financial trouble for the studio, which was actually paying out-of-pocket to maintain its servers.

MekTek believes that the revelation of the legal hold up -- and the subsequent news coverage and forum traffic -- played a role in expediting the release. The company has also thanked its partners Smith & Tinker, Virtual World Entertainment and Catalyst Game Labs for "pressing Microsoft to allow for the release."

MekTek advises fans to "stay tuned" for the impending free launch of MechWarrior 4.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Nail'd: ATV racing from the Call of Juarez team