Leaking info about incoming and in-development video games is as old as gaming itself. In the past, these rumors were passed from adult to kids and vice versa around playgrounds, arcades, and more. The advent of the internet only made leaking info on video games a lot easier. But, while there's a new leak or two about a video game every day, some leaks stand out.
Below, we've rounded up some of the biggest video game leaks in history (in no particular order).
The Last of Us Part 2
First-party Sony studio, Naughty Dog, is known for two things: sprawling narrative-driven single-player titles and leaks.
Just earlier this year, Naughty Dog was the victim of leakers who told everyone about The Last of Us Part 1. But, while Naughty Dog has encountered its fair share of leaks, nothing is arguably bigger than when the entire plot of The Last of Us Part 2 came out months before its release. To make matters worse, footage of the award-winning game made its way online as well. The entire game might not have been released online but the leaks contained info enough to spoil the story and divide the fan base.
Perhaps the worst part is Naughty Dog put in so much work to try and keep it under wraps only for the leak to happen.
If it's any consolation, The Last of Us Part 2 still went on to sell millions of copies and win hundreds of GOTY awards. So, Naughty Dog can at least say that all's well that ends well, right?
Nvidia GeForce Now
We can't even begin to count the games leaked by Nvidia's GeForce Now. The biggest titles it basically "confirmed" were PC ports of God of War and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection as well as the impending release of Kingdom Hearts 4 and proper remasters of classic Square Enix tactics RPG titles like Tactics Ogre and Chrono Cross.
Mind you, we haven't gotten confirmation of every game included in the leak. However, if you consider that the number of official games grows by the day, it's only a matter of time before this all changes.
Grand Theft Auto 6
Rockstar Games' "network intrusion" in September resulted in nearly a hundred in-development footage of Grand Theft Auto 6 finding its way all over the internet. Rockstar later verified the authenticity of the videos, which confirmed certain details about GTA 6 like having a female protagonist and its setting. But, while the GTA 6 leak contained plenty of info, it didn't reveal anything about the game's story and other potential missions. The last we heard, the culprit behind the leak has been caught and put behind bars.
Rockstar is lucky that the hacker didn't get more footage and details. Otherwise, Take-Two Interactive might not be as confident with the game's development.
Leakers and insiders can potentially make a fortune from revealing privy information to the public earlier than intended. Because of this, it's nearly impossible for companies to surprise gamers anymore. For some reason, Bethesda almost got away with keeping a game a secret back in 2015. Although Dishonored was met with a lot of praise and sold well when it came out in 2012, nobody really expected that a sequel would come out, especially so soon.
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In the lead-up to E3 2015, Bethesda was preparing to announce Dishonored 2. But, as it was preparing for the press conference, Bethesda made a huge mistake and accidentally revealed Dishonored 2 on Twitch while rehearsing for E3 2015. The studio didn't specifically name the game in the live stream, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to tell that Corvo and an older Emily will be back for another go.
The source code is the lifeblood of the video game and it contains every detail imaginable about the project, even stuff that developers cut out from the game. So, you can imagine just how angry Valve was when a German hacker stole and spread the source code to Half-Life 2 back in 2003. The worst part? Half-Life 2 wasn't due to be launched until five months after this happened.
Legend has it that this is the reason why Gabe Newell refuses to work on Half-Life 3.
Pokemon Let’s Go
How do you fool everyone in the world into thinking that a legitimate leak isn't true? It's simple - you release it on April Fool's Day.
This is exactly what happened on April 1, 2018, when some GigaChad leaked Pokemon Let's Go on April 1 and nobody believed him. Subsequent attempts to repost the same details on the internet were met with hostility, which all but killed any momentum of the leak until Nintendo confirmed Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! one month later.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Ubisoft's history with legitimate leaks is so long that we could've filled this entire list with just Assassin's Creed games and we'd still have enough stories left over for their other titles. Case in point, details about Assassin's Creed Mirage leaked way ahead of the reveal. It's the same thing for the other in-development Assassin's Creed projects right now. At this point, we refuse to believe that a huge portion of the leaks aren't intentional.
But, while most of Ubisoft's leaks might've been on purpose, some probably aren't. Case in point, the sprinkles of info we got about Assassin's Creed Origins over the years. For most of the 2010s, fans of the stealth-action franchise were fed info about an Assassin's Creed game set in Egypt with an open-world setting. Pre-alpha screenshots even made their way online, which were dismissed by the community.
It wasn't until Ubisoft announced Origins that fans believed that the leaks were all about an upcoming Assassin's Creed game and not just rehashed details about previously-canceled Prince of Persia projects.
Final Fantasy 15
Can you imagine seeing the contents about your game leaking online and the community mocking the plot so much because of how awful it is to the point that they don't believe that it's real?
Square Enix found itself with this dilemma in the lead-up to the release of Final Fantasy 15.
For what it's worth, it was probably too late for Square Enix and Luminous Productions to change the story of Final Fantasy 15 at that point. The game had already spent a decade in development when it came out, so it's not like the developers had time. Hajime Tabata, who took over the reins in 2012, had to make do with what he got, and quite frankly, we're just thankful Final Fantasy 15 is a decent game.
Letting Luminous Productions release the final DLC for Final Fantasy 15 would've given it a proper ending, but alas, gamers will best remember Final Fantasy 15 as the entry with the worst ending.
The Capcom leak is perhaps the biggest and worst of its kind in the history of gaming. After falling victim to a company-wide breach, Capcom saw all sorts of info exposed to everyone. Everything, save for consumer information, was available to see online and it also resulted in some of the company's upcoming games leaking online. The ransomware attack spoiled the reveals of Street Fighter 6, Dragon's Dogma 2, and Resident Evil Village, among others.
It's believed that Capcom is still feeling the effects of the hack more than two years after it happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.