Leakers are something the video game industry has been dealing with ever since internet use has become widespread, and stifling them is growing ever more difficult. Different developers and publishers try keeping their surprises surprising in different way, and Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment decided to take a page from Hollywood's book.
Know those stories about how some major blockbusters get their entire script leaked because an actor or crew member accidentally left a copy under a mattress in a hotel, and the cleaners found it after? Right - and do you also know the newer stories where fake scripts are purposefully left behind to be found and leaked, to keep the actual script a secret?
Then you have a vague idea of what Respawn's been doing to prevent details of upcoming Apex Legends content getting out too soon. The principle is the same, but transplanted into video game form - the developers occasionally leave in bits and pieces of unrealized concepts that are no longer being developed, allowing players to 'discover' them and start crafting theories about those fake clues, instead of digging for real data.
Game Director Chad Grenier and Season 8 Director Steven Ferriera recently answered a few questions for Inverse, where this particular tidbit of information comes from. We're curious to see how effective the in-game breadcrumbs will be now that the secret is out, though.
"[...]a lot of times what happens is that we have some really old stuff that was in the game at one point and we're no longer developing it. We just shoulder-shrug, like “Whatever, we’ll leave it in there.” And some people draw conclusions based on some old things that we've moved on from." - Game Director Chad Grenier
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