It would be an understatement to say that this past weekend has been a pretty big one for video game leaks. The sentiment was mostly driven by the huge story of hackers breaking into Rockstar game systems and illegally leaking tons of the next game. Grand Theft Auto Gaming — but in the meantime, another story quietly unfolds, one of the latest rising stars in the leaker community. I think it’s also a story that shows how stupid the whole leak is.
If you don’t follow gaming Twitter (who can blame you) with laser focus, here’s what happens. A new Twitter account called “TheRealInsider” popped up, and it started revealing information about upcoming game announcements and marketing beats. People quickly started paying attention because it was done right. Its initial big break was revealing information about a slew of Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed games — and more and more about other titles to follow. It has developed a huge following in a short period of time.
As part of the Assassin’s Creed reveal, TheRealInsider made a rookie mistake. They were complacent when a prominent media member with no knowledge of the upcoming Assassin project said he wasn’t sure if their claims were true. There is ridicule, there is boasting. When the announcement was made, someone said “I told you so”.
Then, of course, that person decided to dig into the background of the insider. Unfortunately, this man is Jason Schreier of Bloomberg — one of the most accomplished investigative journalists in the business. His investigative eyes turned to the whistleblower, and soon the house of cards collapsed.
Of course, all of the following are accusations – although the identified people have apologized and “TheRealInsider” has deleted their accounts in a panic, it’s fair to assume Jason is dead. But, by determining when the game information was known, when it was posted, and a forensic analysis of some writing twitches, Schreier made a suggestion in Discord: TheRealInsider is an alias for Australian YouTuber Dan, Alan.
So, is Allen an insider? Well, it depends on your definition. It’s clear from Schreier’s small survey that TheRealInsider is mostly retweeting information obtained the right way – through media campaigns and pre-briefings, the media can learn things ahead of time so we can write, prepare and present in agreed-upon Time to give all of you all the information, our readers.
@ggMikkael I don’t know if this is a full question, but out of curiosity about TheRealInsider I’ll leave you here so you can understand the context xd, in short, Jason caught the insider, it’s Adam, he’s With a breach of contract embargo his multiple accounts. pic.twitter.com/8ywJI8FVol
— RhasegonVT (@Alain707x) September 19, 2022
In the case of Assassin’s Creed, TheRealInsider’s post came shortly after gaming media outlets, including iGamesNews, received Ubisoft’s briefing on the game. We learned from Allen’s YouTube channel, who also participated in the briefing, that Allen allegedly used information Ubisoft provided him in advance and violated a non-disclosure agreement with the company to share “insiders” via an anonymous “account. Schreier pointed to other examples, such as tweets about Saints Row’s quality shortly after the news got the censored code but before the censorship embargo, among others.
After this, the floodgates opened.People post screenshots of other content, such as Allen proposes ‘code sharing’ exchange Pre-release games – Also expressly prohibited in most censorship protocols.Allen initially denied Schreier’s claim, calling it a “false accusation,” but released it hours later A screenshot of a classic note apologizes to Twitter.
This can be a very scary time for Allen. I have feelings for him. Depending on the agreement, it could also end up being more than a little public shaming — some NDAs are trust-based handshake deals, but others are legally binding documents whose terms can have significant ramifications. He could have a rough week. But I’m not as interested in this person as I am in the whole “leak culture”.
TheRealInsider’s case is not surprising to me, since as far as I know there are so-called insiders who weigh almost exclusively pre-briefing information gleaned from friends and competitors from other sources. Some have other methods, such as looking at some content hub backends to see the titles of trailers that will be in play ahead of time. Regardless of the method, however, the reasoning is the same – it has nothing to do with the power of the people. It’s just about influence.
Like, do we all agree that this kind of stuff is stupid and immature? This Veruca Salt-esque impatience with announcements and revealing gamers isn’t helping anyone. What is the purpose of the early announcement of the codenames and settings for the next few Assassin’s Creed games, the information is mixed and we are only a few days away from a proper announcement with a lot of information and context? Well, for the most part, the point is the influence of those who reveal it – being able to say “I told you this first, please verify me.” It’s silly.
No doubt some people will run to comments saying that it’s unethical to keep information at the request of the poster, or that it means you’re in the same bed with them: it’s not, it doesn’t. I do think that publishers are often too secretive about what they’re doing (I like BioWare’s approach of announcing games in production early but then making more traditional disclosures), but I also believe that publishers have the right to disclose their games in its own Times, in its own way. If I’m going to focus an investigation on something, I’d rather it be on a bigger issue – like developer crunch or cultural issues – or other information that will never come to light, like canceled games or Unused prototype. I’m not interested in revealing something prematurely.
In addition, embargoes often help the media as well, giving us time to prepare high-quality content so you can dive into new announcements—rather than a poorly written 280-character tweet that might not even get everything right.
I’m all for revealing hidden information worth revealing. There isn’t enough proper, important news coverage in the game – we’ve piled the studio up with issues around pay, discrimination, pressure and austerity. The gaming press isn’t innocent either, and there’s a lot to surface and discuss. Leaks can empower — if they reveal something that would otherwise never be made public. Announcing planned announcements early doesn’t empower anything other than your own ego and the needs of an extremely impatient child.
Or, to be less mean, revealing something sooner feels less necessary. But in an age where Twitter is a central part of gaming conversations, it’s all about getting there first — it’s all about instant gratification. Of course, there are responsible journalists who have found good stuff.There are even some great separate Twitter news accounts to avoid suspicious leaks, such as Neberion – But for every one of them, there are ten Snowdences who want to play the game talking nonsense.
“So many insiders are just embargo violators,” tweeted former iGamesNews deputy editor and traitor Kirk McKendall
It can also lead to sloppiness – even good, proper journalists somehow believe that tweets from personal accounts are just random and therefore don’t require the same source and information censorship you print in publications (even if readers tweet you Every word on it hangs up as gospel). That’s how you get really sloppy stuff, like the repeated false claims around Metroid Prime and GameCube Zelda games, other Nintendo straight games. The truth is that these items may actually exist – where there’s smoke, where there’s fire – but it’s the desire to be the first to speak up that causes things to be put there and presented as imminent when they don’t exist.
do you know? I get it. I have been there. I was also involved in these things when I first entered the industry as a teenager.I leaked several announcements during those heady days when I was desperately trying to find a then fledgling audience role-playing game website. But I quickly realized how trivial it all means, and how damaging it can be to developers; so I stopped. Since then, it feels like the speed and volume of modern social media has only made things worse — and it’s all silly.
Rockstar hack is a horrible act – throwing away something that was secretly shared a short time in advance just for it is another.
Anyway, I think it’s damn stupid.But also, I think, if half of these insiders put that effort into real Report real issues, and together they may be able to generate significant changes around important issues and challenges facing the industry. The fact that quick clicks of slightly earlier information are prioritized is sad.