Video game leaks are bound to happen with the number of people working on game development projects. It’s easy to share an image, video, or file here or there without being detected. Then you also have to think about hackers.
Video game leaks usually cause quite a stir, but should you pay attention to them? There are reasons both for and against paying attention to video game leaks, which you can use to decide for yourself.
What Is a Video Game Leak?
A video game leak is when an upcoming game’s files, images, or clips from its testing and development gameplay are shared externally without the approval of the development team or the game’s publishers. Some recent examples include the GTA VI and Battlefront 2 leaks.
Video game leaks tend to cause controversy on whether they are helpful to the gaming industry or not. Naturally, the people who tend to view them negatively are those directly impacted by leaks, such as development teams and publishers.
Why Should You Pay Attention to Video Game Leaks?
There are a few reasons why you should pay attention to video game leaks. Video game leaks are often different from each other due to the many variables involved.
Different amounts could get leaked, at various stages of the development timeline, all contributing factors to how much information you get from a leak. But these are reasons why you should check out video game leaks if they happen.
You Get an Early Look at a Game
Getting an early look at an upcoming game is cool for anyone, especially if you didn’t even know the game was in development. When GTA VI leaked, people were just happy to find out that the game was in active development.
When Battlefront 2 leaked, it gave many users insight into how focused on microtransactions it would be, prompting changes to the game following widespread backlash.
It’s a Talking Point With Friends
Seeing a video game leak that you and your friend(s) are excited about draws more interest. By seeing images or videos of the game, you have something to talk about with them, whether on a voice call, in person, or on one of the big video game forums.
Speculating about an upcoming game is part of the fun. And if it gives you more conversation with your gamer friends, that’s just a bonus.
You Get a View Into Game Development
While you can study video game development anytime, you may not be built for that career. By seeing video game leaks, you get a view into the profession and the process behind your favorite upcoming game.
It’s similar to watching a behind-the-scenes show for your favorite TV show. People are naturally interested in how the creatives do their jobs and create the stunning moments you enjoy.
Why Shouldn’t You Pay Attention to Video Game Leaks?
You may think that video game leaks aren’t worth paying attention to. In this case, some of these reasons will likely resonate with you.
If you’re in the camp of thinking you should pay attention to video game leaks, perhaps consider why you shouldn’t.
Leaks Can Taint Works in Progress
Most creatives do not like showing unfinished projects. They want something completed so that their art can be judged in the form it was intended for.
Video game leaks can taint not only the perception of an upcoming title but the motivation the creatives have to continue working on it. When their project’s flaws are exposed that developers had every intention of working on, you can’t blame them for feeling hurt by leaks.
Video game leaks can promote toxicity in the wider video game community. Developers feel annoyed by their audience for indulging in a leak and judging prematurely. Gamers feel developers are being cagey or not giving projects 100%. People are already spending less on video games at a time when there are so many options, which doesn’t bode well for the industry.
This leads to friction between the creatives and the consumers. Ideally, you want developers and fans to have a good relationship with each other, to lead to products that everyone is happy with.
It Gives Attention to the Wrong People
Video game leaks cause headlines. The next question everyone asks is, “who leaked it?”.
The whole process gives attention to the wrong people. The type of people who steal and distribute information they have no legal right to have—those looking to make money or gain clout off the back of creatives.
These are not the sort of people you should be supporting.
Spoils the Surprises
Video game leaks can often spoil surprises in a game, whether that’s a point in the game’s narrative or the existence of the game itself. The trend of remakes makes video games feel redundant, and spoiling any surprises upcoming games may have furthers that trend.
This type of surprise-spoiling just gives everybody less to be excited about. Why would you ever want to indulge in that?
There’s (Often) Nothing to Gain
Video game leaks are often only a small image or clip of a game, often with really grainy camera quality. The result is only a vague idea of aspects of a game rather than the complete picture.
In short: you don’t gain anything. Neither do the developers, since any feedback people give about a game is probably unnecessary, given a game in development is subject to change at any time.
Verdict: You Should Ignore Video Game Leaks
As the above points illustrate, it’s ultimately best to ignore video game leaks. You’ll undoubtedly come across them, especially if you frequent the best gaming news sites, but it’s best to pay them no attention.
You won’t get anything from them, and neither will the developers. It brings attention to the wrong type of people in the world and ultimately doesn’t contribute anything useful to the broader video game community.
Leaks Are an Unfortunate Aspect of the Video Game Industry
Video game leaks will continue to happen and possibly become more frequent as time goes on. With many industries switching to more cloud-based software for day-to-day dealings, there are many new ways that information about an in-development title could be compromised.
Whether you pay video game leaks any attention is up to you, but they are certainly a talking point.