Leaks in video games: a poison with variable consequences (Gamekult)

It was highly anticipated and has been talked about, but certainly not as Rockstar would have liked. The sixth installment of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) has revealed itself through quite significant leaks in recent days. Pictures of the gameplay have been published and the source code of the game may even be made public by the pirate. And if the studio of the fifth best-selling license in history assures that this will not impact the development of the title, such a bomb often causes a lot of damage.

To testify to this, gamekult contacted a collaborator from several video game studios, with drastically different scope. He relates, for example, how Ubisoft manages the damage of a leak, such as the recent one suffered by Assassin’s Creed Miragein particular those from closed tests: “The damage control boiled down to catching the links of the videos, identifying the player’s account (as a rule, there is his ID in water mark on the screen), then transmit the report for the video to receive a strike DMCA and that the player be banned from the test period in question.”

If the information leaks are likely to impact the strategy of certain companies, such as Capcom, which had to reveal all the characters of the next street fightera psychological impact weighs above all on the morale of the developers who see their work undermined.

The source of gamekult confided in her experience in a more modest studio, victim of a disclosure of content: “When a leak happened, everyone knew about it fairly quickly internally. This put a little pressure on the team because we knew that the beta was not at all representative of the final game, but also that it did not resemble the trailers already released which had made the buzz. This added pressure to the pressure already present within the teams. A pressure in the face of which not all employees are equal, especially depending on the size of their studio: “Ubisoft being a large structure, this had little impact on the teams. It was embarrassing, but not restrictive, and there was no consequence on production, nor on the morale of the teams”he says.

A leak of interest

If leaks create different problems at several levels within a video game studio, from production to marketing, above all they cause a lot of noise for nothing. As specified gamekultthey do not interest the press, do not bring any added value to the players and only produce, in the end, a harmful effect for the employees.

After having filled a misplaced curiosity among Internet users, a leak has never really been of much use. The development stages of a game being broken down, it is obvious that a piece of gameplay considered ugly is absolutely not representative of the final product, to which will be added all the elements produced in parallel. A leak has historically never been beneficial, neither for the authors of it, nor for the public, nor for the developers. Who better to testify than Kamui and Greg, speakers at gamekult, authors of one of the first modern video game leaks, more than 20 years ago? Find the article and the complete analysis of the situation by gamekult, here.

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