Video game leaks are the worst for not just the hardworking developers but also for fans who have been waiting patiently to experience their most anticipated games. Years of hard work done by developers to build something special for the fans filled with surprises goes down the drain as a result of such leaks.
Unfortunately, over the years, many big names in the industry have fallen victim to such incidents. Today, we will be counting down the biggest leaks in video game history that proved to be a catastrophe for both the devs and fans alike.
Biggest Leaks In Video Game History, Ranked
The video game industry has seen an unfortunate number of leaks. We’re going to list the ones we think have had the biggest impact on the industry as a whole. Be that as it may, we’re curious to know what you think of these, so leave your viewpoint in the comments.
6. Fallout 4
In today’s digital age, it’s getting harder and harder for games to maintain their secrecy and keep everything under wraps. Even the gaming behemoth Bethesda had to go through one of the biggest leaks in video game history.
Bethesda’s long-awaited Fallout 4 got its setting of Boston and casting documents leaked by Kotaku. This angered Bethesda which led to them blacklisting Kotaku from covering any of their future games– not all news is worth covering it seems.
Only a few days before Valve released Half-Life 2, the company was hacked by a German hacker, Axel Gembe. Axel leaked the source code and revealed that Half-Life 2 was still half-baked days before its planned launch.
The hacker would later feel bad for his endeavors and would confess to his crime by emailing Gabe Newell, the President of Valve. He also asked Gabe for a job if you could believe it, but he got arrested instead when the police conducted a sting operation. The culprit might’ve been caught, but this was a major setback for Valve and cost them a pretty penny. So much so that some claim this might be the reason we never got Half-Life 3.
4. Xbox FTC Leak
One leak no one saw coming was Xbox’s entire first-party game plan for 2023 and beyond. During the FTC trial for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, the tech giant accidentally uploaded confidential documents that outlined its future projects including a refreshed Xbox Series X console, a new controller, and upcoming unannounced titles.
Over a dozen first-party games in development across different studios such as Bethesda, Arkane, and id Software were leaked. It’s a shame that Xbox’s surprises were foiled in this way, especially given how much of a tough time the studio is having with their AAA projects these days. The rumble from the FTC mishap has died down quite a bit now, but it’s safe to say this will perhaps go down as one of the biggest leaks in video game history.
Everyone had been itching to get their hands on The Last of Us Part 2, the sequel to one of 2013’s best games. In the months leading up to its release in 2020, The Last of Us Part 2’s entire plot along with some gameplay clips leaked, giving birth to one of the biggest leaks in video game history.
What’s worse is the fact that many fans of the original were extremely disgruntled by the direction the plot went in and the bittersweet ending caused even more outrage among them. All this resulted in a boycott against The Last of Us Part 2 which damaged Naughty Dog’s reputation immensely and shattered the game’s hype.
2022 saw one of the worst video game leaks. After Rockstar’s servers were hacked by an alleged 17-year-old, over 90 clips of Grand Theft Auto 6, which is undoubtedly the most anticipated game of all time, were dumped on social media worldwide.
Even though the leaks showed an early build of GTA 6, they still proved harmful for Rockstar Games. Seeing their years of dedication to GTA 6’s secrecy out on the internet, Rockstar was forced to take legal action. While the leak was definitely of a major caliber, it’s safe to say it generated more hype for the game, especially since its official trailer now has 170 million views.
1. Insomniac Games
A few months after the triumphant release of Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2, the studio had to go through the biggest video game leak in history in December 2023. A playable build of Insomniac’s upcoming PS5 exclusive, Marvel’s Wolverine leaked online, years before its planned release date.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Up to 1 terabyte of data was leaked which included Insomniac’s release schedule for the entire decade. These included games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 3 and Marvel’s X-Men – a title nobody knew was in the works. Personal information of the employees was leaked too, leading to their endangerment on top of the sleepless nights trying to cope with the repercussions.
However, the ever-resilient Insomniac Studios was quick to address the situation. Insomniac assured us that they are still hard at work on Marvel’s Wolverine and that they would come back stronger.