I’ve been a gamer literally all my life. My dad owned a Sega Genesis and the Sonic games when I was born so I’ve had a controller in my hands since that day. In my time as a gamer, I, along with almost every single other gamer on the face of this earth, have run into the same thing over and over and over again.
Now, my stance on these leaks hasn’t always been the same, in fact, it wasn’t until probably my junior year of high school a few years back that I started to appreciate games as an art and, therefore, changed my views on them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love leaks. I love finding new little pieces of information on a yet announced game or sequel to a long time favorite franchise, but it’s more so the principal of the thing, and what it means for the developers and publishers when a leak becomes a problem.
Leaks cause several problems. Misinformation being the biggest. Incomplete feature sets, unfinished textures and graphical capabilities overall, and dozens of other things. Gamers tend to freak out if the game graphics, at time of announcement, are not the best they’ve ever seen (I’m looking at you, Fallout 4 trailer. I’m sorry people hated you for whatever reason) and they tend to forget that the graphical clean up and polish is one of the last things to go into a game, so when a five minute long snippet of gameplay leaks from Uncharted 12 and it’s not up to snuff, people go absolutely bananas over it. They begin to make claims against Naughty Dog that they’ve let down their fans with a horrible excuse of a game. This attitude confounds me.
But, unfortunately, it just comes down to people not having the best understanding of the industry. The same thing happens in movies when you see an action scene without all the CGI and added screen effects. “Oh, I guess the Bourne Googlygoosh isn’t gonna be any good” No, it’s just not finished yet.
It’s the same thing with misinformation. People will tear apart a trailer to a leaked screenshot like the one I’ve included in this article from the Halo: Reach leak back in November of 2009. Some of the things in the screenshot were either completely redesigned or removed entirely! It’s almost like the game wasn’t done yet… Hmmm…
Wait, you mean the game didn't look like this a full year after this leak surfaced? whaaaaat.
Now, as I’ve said, though I hate what leaks are, I do enjoy seeing things I’m excited about sooner rather than later. As a gamer, I feel like most of us tend to be impatient. but that’s okay, I have a solution to our problem, and the game developer’s leak problem all at the same time.
Are you ready for it? Transparency.
When a developer is working on a new IP or a sequel to a beloved franchise, they should be overall, more open and transparent with the community or fan base that are drooling at it. Games aren’t a one and done deal anymore, most have day one patches or season passes or extras that are going to be added at a later date. You can’t change the way a game is released and supported and hope that the buildup and eventual release are the same as they’ve ever been. People tend to be more upset when they see less or know less of their most anticipated game, than the indie title that actually has the chance to pull their attention away from the AAA title (Cuphead, I can’t wait to play you).
Now, I know that not every game from now on would work with a super transparent release, but there’s no point to leave your customers surprised when it comes to what they have already pre-ordered and are looking forward to the most. Give them a little more, and you’ll get plenty back.
I know that I will probably be somewhat alone in this opinion, and I’m okay with that. Leave me a comment below to tell me what you think about all this and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can. Thanks so much for reading.