Though video game leaks can offer fans of a particular franchise some momentary excitement, the damage they can cause to a game’s production is baffling. Leaks will often result in a game’s release date being pushed back so the company can regain control of the situation, but some can be extremely detrimental to how a game performs upon its release.
Some leaks can be quickly dismissed if the leaker fails to provide evidence to back them up. They are more speculatory than fact, allowing developers to continue a game’s development without too much cause for worry. Problems will arise, however, when a leaker possesses evidence to validate the information they offer. Video game content is constantly being leaked, but some leaks are far more shocking than others.
5 Fallout 4
The production of Fallout 4 was shrouded in a great deal of secrecy during its development and, though Bethesda did its best to conceal most of the game’s content until its official release, a writer at the Kotaku gaming news website managed to slip through the cracks.
The leaker, Jason Schrier, discussed both the game’s setting and its use of voice acting for the playable character, a feature that had not been implemented in previous games. Some fans doubted the leaks and understandably considered them to be fake, but Bethesda’s reaction all but confirmed them to be true. As a result, the Kotaku website was forbidden to cover anything related to the Falloutfranchise after the leaks went public, further confirming the leaks to be accurate.
4 Kingdom Hearts 3
Just one month before the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, developers at Square Enix were shocked to discover that the entire game had been leaked. Though many thought the rumors held no validity, full-playthroughs of the game began appearing online from multiple sources, confirming the company’s fears to be true. Series director Tetsuya Nomura pleaded with fans not to share any information about Sora and Xehanort’s fated clash, but too much had already been revealed to reverse the leak’s effects.
The source of these leaks can be traced back to one individual who managed to acquire several copies of the game through its distribution stream. To prove the leaks were real, they recorded a video of themselves booting the game up and playing a brief portion of the story. They then went on to advertise their multiple copies on Facebook Marketplace in an attempt to profit off of Square Enix’s efforts. Most fans doubted the leaks at first, but the evidence of its legitimacy quickly became too great to ignore once the game’s ending began popping up online.
3 The Last Of Us 2
The original The Last of Us ended on a somewhat uncertain note, leaving fans confused as to what the future held for its primary characters. Though there wasn’t a need to continue the story, developers at Naughty Dog felt it necessary to showcase how Joel’s actions during the first game’s climax were destined to have consequences. The long-anticipated sequel was expected to detail what happened after Joel and Ellie’s return to Jackson, but not all fans had the patience to wait for the game’s official release date.
Naughty Dog employees were left shocked and confused when the plot of The Last of Us: Part 2 leaked online just over a month before the game’s scheduled release date. Though many fans remained skeptical of its legitimacy, the game’s release confirmed the leak to be real. To make matters worse for those trying to avoid spoilers, the release date was pushed back two more weeks so the developers could regain control of the situation. The leak also resulted in a great deal of harsh criticism being aimed at the game’s story as many fans were unhappy with how certain characters met their ends.
2 Grand Theft Auto 6
Rumors of Grand Theft Auto 6 being in developed have been circulating across the internet for years. The time allocated to its production, however, has given hackers and leakers alike better opportunities to infiltrate Rockstar‘s systems and steal the company’s work. Supposed leakers have been relaying multiple tidbits about the upcoming story, but none were ever really taken seriously. Rockstar’s response to the most recent leak, however, has confirmed some of the most prominent rumors to be true.
According to the developers, the game was leaked when “An unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems.” A total of 90 videos were uploaded showcasing the development of the game in its early stages and, though some felt the footage lacked credibility, Rockstar’s response has confirmed the gameplay to be that of Grand Theft Auto 5‘s upcoming sequel. Apparently, the leak has had no effect on the game’s development process, which is surprising considering how much footage has been released. The leak of Grand Theft Auto 6 could very well be the biggest leak in the video game industry to date, but Rockstar is handling it well.
1 Red Dead Redemption 2
The leak of Grand Theft Auto 6 isn’t the first obstacle Rockstar Games has had to overcome in terms of protecting its assets. In 2016, the map for Red Dead Redemption 2 was leaked online, and, much to fans’ surprise, the leak turned out to be real upon the game’s release. Thankfully, a leaked map isn’t overly groundbreaking and spoiled very little, but there was a leak that did.
Most of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s story was leaked before its release, but the lack of evidence provided by the leaker resulted in their bold claims being dismissed. The leak detailed the names of multiple main characters, some key plot points, and the implementation of a party system and, though these reveals were exciting, the majority of the community regarded them as false. It was only upon the game’s official release that much of what the leak entailed was confirmed to be true. If the leaker provided a concrete source during their relaying of this information, perhaps fans of the Red Dead Redemptionseries would have taken their words more seriously.