Video game leaks are nothing new to the entertainment industry and have existed almost as long as video games themselves have. The internet and social media make leaking “top-secret” information to the public extremely easy, as it can be done with a few clicks. This year has been pretty huge in terms of new games being both announced and released for all kinds of different platforms, from PC to Nintendo Switch to Xbox to PlayStation, making these leaks affect all gamers in some way. However, whether they view them as a positive or a negative thing is where the issue comes in.
While some mistakes are bound to happen, there have been so many leaks in the past few years that it’s hard to believe that all of these mistakes are just that and nothing more. For example, the highly anticipated “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for Nintendo Switch fell victim to this phenomenon just a few weeks ago with a massive leak that included information about playable characters on the supposed box of the game. Although Nintendo is normally an extremely secretive company with experience keeping things under wraps, this just goes to show that no company is left untouched.
A recent release that was affected by these early leaks was “Red Dead Redemption 2.” Also highly anticipated due to its perfect scores by game reviewers, this game was officially released on Oct. 26, but not before having a few major leaks of its own, including maps and the online aspect of the game.
But these few games aren’t the only ones affected. Many huge franchises, including “Call of Duty,” “Fallout,” “Kingdom Hearts” and “Assassin’s Creed” have also had major leaks in the past few months. With things as simple as screenshots or as complex as gameplay footage, any little detail could spoil a player’s experience.
Many have started to speculate that companies leak their own games and information about them in order to build anticipation and hype. Although a lot of it does seem to be accidental, the sheer amount of information coming our way as fans seems too good to be true, and the timing seems a little too perfect, such as in the case of “Red Dead Redemption 2.” This tactic does work to some extent, and it definitely gets the game in the mouths of the public, however it can be disheartening for fans who were hoping to play the game for themselves. Also, with so much information being given at all times, some leaks can even be seen as underwhelming. Not to mention the amount of players creating their own fake leaks every so often, making it hard to know what to trust.
Game reveals used to be exciting for fans, but now most fall flat considering the fact that most dedicated fans will have already seen the information months prior to its official release. When a player can just log onto social media and see new information every few weeks, that initial shock factor goes away, and it starts to become something that they expect from companies and from their fellow gamers. And although it may not stop them from buying the game, part of that excitement, and part of the fun, will now always be lost.
Grace Barnett // Staff Writer