I’m working on a video about whether or not leaks (information leaks pertaining to in-development and forthcoming games) are good or bad. Of course, there are both good and bad aspects, and that’s what I’m hoping to get from everyone here.
Give me your thoughts on leaks.
So far, here’s some logic I plan to use:
Before the ubiquity of the internet, I can see how it would be important to time PR beats just right. Owning the narrative was much harder to do before the internet. Or, at least, reigning in an escaped narrative was harder to do.
Now, with the internet and the mass audience around tentpole events like E3, it seems better to “crowd source” the narrative. If something leaks, the organic nature of narrative creation takes over, and whether or not that’s good or bad is debatable. It does, however, extend the PR beat, which is likely great for a game company.
How often are leaks intentional (meaning, the game company higher-ups approved the leak)? I would guess, probably 99% of the time, the leaks are intentional. I have no data to support this. Only my assumption that if jobs were truly on the line, then we’d see fewer leaks. The leaker never has anything to gain, I wouldn’t think, so why risk your job?
Does a leak--depending on how in advance--allow developers to fix issues before release. Almost like a “rumor beta.” Beta testing a game is good. Beta testing the conversation around a game can be helpful as well, right?
Personally, I generally like game leaks. Even when the leak goes against my hopes (Fallout76) I love the information. I like being excited about something, and leaks let me align that excitement appropriately. Rather than continue to wonder about a game, I’m happy to have some information, even if that information is faulty.