Earlier today, a user on Reddit pointed to a since-deleted post of a Portuguese game reviewer that Nintendo had begun its distribution of the review copies of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Just a few hours later, IGN Japan was one of the first big outlets to find itself in hot water.
IGN Japan had mistakenly given fans an early glimpse of some of the new mechanics that Tears of the Kingdom will feature and it didn't sit well with Nintendo.
Usually, these previews are covered by non-disclosure agreements. This prevents reviewers from revealing private details to audiences until after the review embargo is lifted. In this case, Nintendo hasn't confirmed when the review embargos for its upcoming Breath of the Sequel will lift. But, it's speculated that reviewers will be able to publish their thoughts without fear of legal repercussions at least a few days before Tears of the Kingdom comes out on May 12.
Unfortunately, IGN Japan made the mistake of breaking its NDA.
The said video revealed some of the mechanics that Nintendo hasn't shown off yet (yes, the earlier videos didn't show everything, believe it or not). As a result, screenshots from the leaked Tears of the Kingdom gameplay have found their way online.
We won't tell you what the footage contains but we can confirm that Nintendo has since asked IGN Japan to take down the video.
It isn't clear what will happen to IGN Japan, which isn't directly owned by IGN USA. We suspect that Nintendo won't pursue legal action. However, the company will likely conduct an investigation as to why this happened. Most likely, Nintendo will refuse to share privileged information with IGN Japan for a while. But, hey, maybe not? Nintendo might not pursue anything more than a warning for one of its closest partners.
In any case, Tears of the Kingdom will definitely get leaked more in the days leading up to its launch on May 12. So, if you'd like to avoid possibly finding out more about how hot Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom is, you'll want to avoid going on the internet for a while.