Published on May 24th, 2014 | by Andew Dupe

PSA: Leaks! What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing…

We had talked about this a little bit on the podcast and it got me thinking a bit more on the subject so I thought I would put it into more articulate words than “they are bad”.

I have always kind of found it weird how much “news” is pure rumour and speculation which has lead me to become a sad person who doesn’t get excited about anything till I see the trailer.  But I’ve never been able to put into words why I feel this way until I read a blog post that Frank O’Connor (343 Industries) was in on NeoGAF talking about what problems these leaks and rumours do from their side.

“Breaking embargos is not prophesy,” he wrote. “Nor does it require any particular skill or insight. Ultimately he is taking or being given information and leaking it, illegally and often erroneously. And he isn’t doing it for some noble or worthy reason. He’s doing it for attention.”

“People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up. It’s not fun, and for what? So you can have a mildly interesting surprise 8 hours early and lacking context? Or get hyped or disappointed disproportionately? Or get someone fired or someone innocent yelled at?”

“Ok. But it isn’t prophecy, nor ultimately even important. It’s annoying.”

Surprise and unpredictability is something that we are starting to crave these days of “Spoiler Alerts!” but the minute someone mentions that they heard from their second cousin’s great uncle’s nephew that Valve is working on Half-Life 3 the internet explodes, it’s at the top of reddit, front page of gaming news sites, and #HL3Confirmed is all you hear for the next month.  So all this and Valve hasn’t said anything about it at all. We take it upon ourselves to make this stuff up using out of context sources, then we get all excited and then disappointed till we don’t care any more.  Information presented without the right context can turn what should be an exciting announcement into a confusing one. Then no one is happy, not you, not the developers, no one.

Who knows maybe the Gaben himself delays half-life 3 a year for every leak that happens till we learn our lessons.

So why do it?  Think before you leak, or spread that rumour around and maybe we’ll get Half-Life 3 before we die.

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About the Author

Andrew is a web developer and general geek. He likes drawing, programming, table top gaming, video gaming, other general geek things, and of course long walks on the beach. Follow him on twitter @dup3 Favourite Movie: Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi Favourite Game: Halo 2 Favourite Book: Name of the Wind

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