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5 Of the Biggest Leaks in Gaming History

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September 2022 saw one of the biggest leaks in gaming history emerge. Rockstar Games was hacked and the hacker uncovered and released multiple videos and images showing an unfinished build of Grand Theft Auto VI.

The gaming industry is a very secretive one and because of this secrecy, the video game industry has always been prone to leaks. Whether the source is an external hacker or a disgruntled ex-employee, the gaming industry has suffered some major leaks over the years. Below, we will list 5 of the biggest leaks in gaming history.

Please be warned that spoilers for The Last Of Us Part 2 will follow.

Fallout 4’s Script Leaks

The Fallout 4 leak was definitely one of the biggest leaks in gaming history.
The Fallout 4 leak was definitely one of the biggest leaks in gaming history.

After Fallout 3 enjoyed the immense critical and commercial success that it did, fans of the game around the world were eagerly anticipating Bethesda’s direct sequel to the 2008 classic. Although Fallout: New Vegas was also beloved, that game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment rather than Bethesda Softworks and was more of a sidequel than a direct sequel.

Also read: Fallout 76Looks To Give Griefers Some Payback, PVP Details Revealed

In December of 2013, one of the biggest leaks in gaming history occurred. Jason Schreier published an article via Kotaku stating that the popular gaming site had been sent scripts and character descriptions as well as other details regarding the development of Fallout 4. The scripts in question provided confirmation that for the first time in the franchise’s history, the player character would have a voice actor, rather than just onscreen text dialogue boxes.

Walmart Canada E3 2018 Leak

The organisers of E3 must have been pretty mad at Walmart in 2018.
The organisers of E3 must have been pretty mad at Walmart in 2018.

Another of the biggest leaks in gaming history occurred in May of 2018 when Walmart Canada put a significant amount of placeholder pages on their website for upcoming games due to be announced at E3 the following month. This essentially gave away all of the significant upcoming reveals from that year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Also read: The 5 Best Films Where Gamers And Gaming Are The Subject

For those out of the loop, the weeks prior to E3 are a feverous time in the echo-chamber of video game conversation. Predictions are made across social media and on podcasts and YouTube videos. Some may even say that the speculation prior to E3 is usually a lot more fun than the actual show itself. Thus, Walmart Canada leaking everything from the next Just Cause game, to a new Assassin’s Creed title essentially sucked a lot of the excitement out of the 2018 conferences.

The Last Of Us Part 2

Don't take Abby to a driving range.
Don’t take Abby to a driving range.

The main issue with creating a hugely successful and beloved original IP is that fans of that initial game are going to be chomping at the bit for any hint of a follow-up. This was the case with The Last of Us Part 2. Although the game had already been officially unveiled by Naughty Dog and Sony, it was significant plot details which leaked just a couple of months before the game released.

Also read: “She doesn’t look the part”: HBO’s The Last of Us Faces Criticism After Latest Teaser, Fans Claim Bella Ramsey as Ellie is a Horrible Miscast

These leaks included a handful of cutscenes. One of these leaked cinematics was the pivotal cutscene in which Joel is murdered by Abby. This meant that one of the biggest twists in the game had been spoiled before the game was even available to play and another of the biggest leaks in gaming history had taken place.

Every Assassin’s Creed Game

Perhaps the reason that Ubisoft announced a whole bunch of games in advance was because they knew that they would inevitably get leaked before they were ready to announce them.
Perhaps the reason that Ubisoft announced a whole bunch of games in advance was because they knew that they would inevitably get leaked before they were ready to announce them.

Anyone who follows the gaming industry will be acutely aware that try as they might, Ubisoft are seemingly unable to stop Assassin’s Creed being leaked every year before it is officially announced. Some years those leaks come from Reddit, sometimes they are the fault of Walmart Canada, (as mentioned above,) and other times an employee is seen working on a presentation for the unannounced game on a public aeroplane. That isn’t a joke. Believe it or not, that is something that actually happened.

Even as recently as earlier this year, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, (which is the AC game launching in 2023,) was leaked online before it was officially revealed at this year’s Ubisoft Forward. Five separate Assassin’s Creed projects were announced during the Ubisoft Forward event and honestly, it is a surprise that all five of them didn’t leak beforehand.

The GTA VI Leak

The hacker earned themself a 5 star wanted level.
The hacker earned themself a 5 star wanted level.

In case you have been living under a rock, screenshots and a gameplay video appeared online on the 19th of September 2022. Although it wasn’t initially 100% clear, the video showed a female character robbing a diner, (it was very reminiscent of the diner robbery scene in Pulp Fiction).

Also read: “We will update everyone again”: Rockstar Games Breaks Silence After GTA 6 Leaks Wreaked Havoc, Fans Lend Support as Game Suffers Major Setback

The gameplay looked as though it was taking place in the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE). This game engine was also used in the development of both Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, as well as both of the Red Dead Redemption games.

A few days after the footage was leaked, Jason Schreier confirmed the legitimacy of the leaks via Twitter. The leaks were then further confirmed when Rockstar themselves issued a statement regarding the security breach. Since then, the alleged teenage culprit has been apprehended in Oxfordshire, London and appeared in court on September 29th to plead not guilty to the charge of computer misuse in front of a judge.

"I'll execute every one of you motherleakers!"
“I’ll execute every one of you motherleakers!”

There you have it, 5 of the biggest leaks in gaming history. Which of these leaks do you think was the most significant? Are there any big ones which we failed to mention in the article? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Daniel Boyd

Daniel is a 27-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.