Valve is no stranger to having its content prematurely exposed to the public. But the company just experienced the biggest asset leak in its existence, with multiple asset repositories for their games from 2016 washing up online. It's unclear if the leaker by the name of Leakerwanderer had a Source developer license, or how he got his hands on so much content from Portal, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half Life 2: Episodes & Multiplayer, and Team Fortress 2.
Valve is a globally renowned video game developer whose award-winning titles go through a long and arduos development process, resulting in hundreds of thousands of documents, photos, and animations necessary for production. These are stored in the form of asset repositories, which is typically how a game's files would be bundled-up to share with an external partner. It seems that someone with malicious intent had access to Valve’s repository and made
good bad use of it. With a limited number of Source developer licenses being granted finger pointing is already underway and this isn't the first time that Valve has had security issues.
the entire valve repo is leaking as we speek pic.twitter.com/aUlScUWEHD
— braixen 🏴🎀 (@sylvia_braixen) January 12, 2023
The leaker used the popular gaming VOIP platform known as Discord to disseminate the materials through multiple outlets, most notably the Valve Cut Content Discord server. Here’s what he had to say about the entire ordeal:
I don't care anymore. I also did my toying around with it for a few years, did not upload because I was threatened every time [...] A real shame. I have no legal binding to these files. Not anymore. I have held onto these files since 2016.
The game hit the hardest by Valve’s negligence seems to be Team Fortress 2, with tons of never before seen maps, models, and other content surfacing on the internet. TF2 content creator Richter Overtime described it clearly saying ”Once the community finishes digesting this (61GB), there will be nothing else to talk about. This is the last official TF2 content drop you or I will ever see.”
This isn't the first time Valve’s content has ended up where it's not supposed to be and people are questioning the safety measures by Valve when it comes to user data. Regardless if it's through data mines or straight-up stolen content, Valve keeps having its future plans exposed to the public prematurely. In this case, the entire material that made their games special is now public, with no intellectual property laws applying to it, and can be used by everyone.