author: Darius Matusiak
The Biggest Leaks in Gaming History
Much ado about nothing – the "big" GTA 6 leak didn't reveal much in the end. The history of games knows much more serious incidents that have often cost the developers a lot of damage. Here are some of the most notable leaks in the history of gaming.
The Last of Us 2
A month before the planned release of The Last of Us: Part II, videos from the development version of the game appeared on YouTube, revealing a lot of key data from the course of the story. The details of the story revealed content of cutscenes, there were also shots from the menu and a list of stages in video clips. Of course, the materials were removed from YT very quickly, but as it happens in such cases, they were copied beforehand, and thus, beans got spilled. The official announcement of the creators was:
We know that the last few days are extremely difficult for you. We feel the same way. Showing and sharing scenes before the release from the development stage is disappointing. Do your best to avoid spoilers and do not break the surprise for others.
The Last of Us: Part II will be in your hands soon. No matter what you see and hear, the final experience will be worth it.
Initially, the source of the leak was a matter of great controversy. It was speculated that one of the employees of Naughty Dog studio did it in revenge for the working conditions that had prevailed in the studio for a long time. Compromising details about forced crunch, mismanagement or the imposition of additional conditions in relation with the payout of salaries were revealed a little earlier in his article by journalist Jason Schreier. But after a few days, it was announced that the perpetrator had been traced and that he was not a person from the Naughty Dog or Sony Entertainment environment, and further comments on this matter were cut short.
The leak of materials coincided with the information that the game's release was delayed by a month, although the official reason for this was the COVID-19 pandemic. But a much more significant consequence was the storm in social media that unleashed after the disclosure of the details of the plot. The writers went all the way in evoking various emotions in the players, especially negative ones – and they managed to do so, although earlier than expected. We witnessed an event where spoilers themselves were less relevant than the discussion of their details. Commentators focused mainly on the plot, criticising Naughty Dog writers for how they treated the beloved characters in part one, although much of it was speculative. The emotions that arose around the web were best summed up in the words of a well-known YouTuber:
I don't even want to play this game anymore.
There ensued a bizarre situation where Sony called for removing not only materials with leaks themselves from the Web, but also all discussions of them. This only increased the negative attitudes towards the game, as many web creators saw it as unjustified infringement of their copyrights by a large corporation. The atmosphere wasn't improved by Troy Baker – Joel's voice actor – calling for them to let Ellie and Joel tell their story instead of letting others tell a spoiled version of it.
Even the message from director Neil Druckmann stating that the game had achieved a golden status was met with negative reception and over a hundred thousand thumbs down. Here, the reason for anger was Druckmann's support for controversial feminist Anita Sarkeesian. Many players gave up on on the game before its release – either out of rage over the fate of the heroes or predicting that the plot would focus on 'politics.'
However, the wave of criticism didn't harm the ultimate commercial success of this game, if we take into account TOP 3 games for PlayStation in the USA. The Last of Us 2 was also the best-selling PS4 exclusive in its first weekend after release, with over 4 million copies sold. In the following months, however, it sold worse than both Spider-Man and God of War. By June 2022, over 10 million copies of TLoUP2 were sold.
- More about The Last Of Us: Part II