Welcome to a new series that I am calling “Devil’s Advocate” – in this series I’ll be taking contentious issues in gaming and look at them from both sides of the fence! Let’s get the discussion following in that there comment section!
I come from Northern Ireland. A country that has been torn apart by terrorism. A country that has been trying to rebuild for nigh on twenty years. A country that “touting” on anyone you knew to be in a terrorist organisation, was (and kinda still is) a crime punishable by being shot in the kneecaps and left for all to see.
And yet we are living in a time where people who claim to be a “AAA Developer” with access to console developer kits, taking their “knowledge” to the internet in a vain bid to become “internet famous”. And these touts are absolutely destroying the industry they claim to love in a number of ways.
They create a state of panic
When a leak occurs; especially when it’s a hardware leak, it impacts sales. Leaks create a dialogue that wouldn’t exist if the leak itself didn’t; namely, should a gamer buy the existing console if the successor exists and is being passed around developers?
For example why should anyone go out and buy a Wii U now that the NX controller has been leaked online (regardless of the fact that its fake)? It’s a bloody hard sell to anyone! Consoles are expensive and they should be an investment that last for more than a few months.
They create a sense of hate
The amount of vitriol I’ve seen in wake of these; fake, NX controllers is unbelievable (well it would be if this wasn’t the internet) – people have been put off buying the NX because the controller “has no buttons”. The sad thing is when a manufacturer comes out and debunks these leaks no-one believes them; they call it “bull poop” or “panicking”.
Leaks have the power to turn people off machines and games, if no-one buys anything then the industry we all know and love will cease to exist. THANKS LEAKS!
They ruin E3 and surprises in general
I have no idea when surprises were deemed “surplus to requirements” in life. But M. Knight Shyamalan was right when he stated that ‘The 6th Sense’ would be the last surprising movie because of the rise of the internet. I love surprises, I want to be excited by Ubisoft’s “one last thing” at E3, but it is getting more and more difficult to avoid leaks before the event!
Every major player seems to take great pride in reporting on every leaks without verifying their information.
Surprises are awesome, stop ruining everyone’s fun! You bastards!
They create unrealistic expectations
Earlier this year, Platinum games fell foul of several leaks about their latest title; “TMNT: Turtles in Manhattan”, starting with only the name! Instantly the internet was alive with people hoping and wishing for this to be set within the cartoon universe, that looked, sounded and felt like it was part of their childhood.
Imagine the rage when there was the subsequent screenshot leak a few weeks later. Here we had Turtles that were clearly based on the more recent IDW comic series. We had message boards, blogs, videos and people on the street writing this game off because it didn’t look the way they wanted it.A game that had no game-play video or real details or even AN ANNOUNCEMENT was suddenly being written off by a hell of a lot of gamers!
What can a developer do when this happens? Absolutely nothing, they can follow their marketing plan and hope the game they have actually created (rather than the one we want them to) is good enough to win back a percentage of those they “lost”.
Leaks and data-mined info really pisses me off! If every game/DLC/expansion goes through this they’d sell in tiny quantities and again gaming will suffer and die.
They are often made up
This is probably the most damaging thing about leaks; they are often the dreams of someone who wants a moment of internet fame.
Think about my opening paragraph, in Northern Ireland, the punishment for touting was being shot. On the internet though the punishment is being looked upon as a hero of the people. Message boards light up with discussion and arguments about the validity of the leaks – they often come from “industry insiders” and accompanied with blur-o-vision pictures which are then taken as fact.
This leads to it becoming viral across the net and to all the problems above.
Even though a huge number of these “leaks” are absolute horse shit. Think back to when the PS3 controller was “leaked” – remember the hate for it? Remember how many people swore off Sony and their products? Remember how it turned out to be some pie-in-the-sky dream of a crazy person?
Here’s the thing though that bullshit mock-up really hurt the PS3 in its early years. These “leakers” are a bunch of twats who are out for their 15 minutes. Yesterday one of the NX leakers hosted an AMA on reddit!
You heard that right, a man/woman who had reportedly “put their job on the line with this leak” was answering questions live on the internet! If that doesn’t set alarm bells ringing I don’t know what will. There was no danger, because it was all bullshit. It was literally a person who was desperate for attention and social acceptance in a weird; and potentially damaging for the companies involved, way.
The best thing is this person is not alone! Look around the internet, there are Facebook accounts, twitter profiles, forum personalities and more that are popular/internet famous for their “sources in the industry” and their own willingness to spread leaks. And despite the fact they get as much wrong as they do right (and any twat can predict the next CoD), they have a huge following online. Jesus Christ these guys are idiots.
I miss the days where you were famous because you were special, not special because you are famous!
Leakers – please fuck off! OKTHNXBYE!
Leaks and leakers are ruining gaming, do you agree/disagree?
Leave a comment and tell me why you think what you do!