10 Biggest Video Game Leaks Of All Time, Ranked – Screen Rant

Leaks in the video game industry are an inevitability, but sometimes these leaks are full-on dams bursting with information.
Grand Theft Auto VI leaks are rightfully making the rounds on the gaming news cycles right now. Almost everything about the project, barring the source code, was leaked, and fans are split across the board on what to feel about it. Regardless, a leak of this scale is impressive, but it’s far from the first.
In fact, leaks are a much bigger deal for video games than most other mediums. These leaks could even change the flow of development. Most times, though, it’s just funny to see people from the past not believing what gamers now know to be true.
Grand Theft Auto VI‘s development recently had a huge leak, which showcased tons of new gameplay and story elements. While the female protagonist angle was already known, this leak was something else entirely. Despite the early builds, there are already a ton of dynamic elements present throughout.
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Additionally, plot elements seem to imply that the story will be heavily inspired by the true story of Bonnie and Clyde. There are also rights to songs from the likes of Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby, so it’s still set in relatively modern times. The leaks are far too many to summarize, but Rockstar’s statement all but confirms that the leaks are genuine (per their official Twitter page).
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate shocked gamers when it revealed that “Everyone Was Here.” They weren’t kidding, and fans definitely loved the massive roster. However, what most fans might not know is that the whole roster, plus the inclusion of Ridley, was leaked months before this announcement.
This post on the GameFaqs forums teased that Ridley would be playable on the next iteration of Smash Bros. Not only that, they were among the first to leak that it would be a new game that reused assets from previous games. It should be noted that the user here, Vergeben, had a reputation for accurate leaks on the forums, and consistently predicted Smash DLC, warranting his own entry on the Smash Bros wiki.
The Last Of Us Part II was a controversial sequel, and it started well before it was even set to release. A month before release, gameplay clips were uploaded online, which were harmless at first. They just showcased a more polished version of the E3 levels. However, the biggest leak was the shocking fate of Joel at the hands of the playable character, Abby.
The reveal that Ellie wasn’t the only playable character was shocking enough. The fact that players would be controlling Joel’s murderer was what ignited the online community to turn against the game, and still do to this day. A controversial choice that was revealed a month before the game was even released tainted people’s expectations.
Fallout 4 wasn’t due for release until 2015, but that didn’t stop Bethesda employees from leaking info, whether intentionally or accidentally. The first major leak came in the form of a post on r/gaming where it revealed major elements such as the Boston location, the villainous Institute, and of course, the major presence of androids in the story.
As 2013 wore on, more and more clues seemed to confirm this major story leak was indeed true. In November 2013, another article revealed that the character was voiced, and many fans thought that was far-fetched. Imagine their shock when that got confirmed as well.
Back in 2016, several plot elements about Final Fantasy XV were anonymously leaked on 4chan and then shared on Neogaf. Rather hilariously, it was universally panned and many claimed that it was fake. They believed no developer would allow this story into the final product, and hence, it was ignored at the time.
Elements such as the depressing ending and sudden gameplay shift into a “survival” chase were pointed out as ridiculous. When the game did release, the players enjoyed the story up until the last act, which happens exactly as the leaks said they would. As predicted, it did not go over well for fans, who definitely didn’t consider XV one of the best Final Fantasy games.
Metal Gear Solid 3 was the long-awaited third entry in Hideo Kojima’s stealth-action franchise, and fans were hungry for any news. They finally got it in early 2003, when a since-deleted source, when a trailer for the game was leaked and revealed the game was set way back in 1964.
RELATED: The 15 Best Metal Gear Solid Games, Ranked By Metacritic
Of course, this meant that the playable character would not be Solid Snake, but Big Boss, back when he still worked for FOX. Many thought that the game was set during the Vietnam War, but as the November release revealed, the plot was more closely connected to the Cold War. Still, the leak did a fantastic job of hyping up fans of the series.
Gears of War 3 was close to completion and set to release in September 2011. This third entry was the final entry in the original Marcus Fenix trilogy, and he would soon pass the torch in Gears of War 4. However, this thrilling conclusion was leaked two months early, along with the rest of the game.
The entire game (albeit extremely buggy) was released online and featured the entire single-player campaign. The content was obviously not from a release build, but getting the entire campaign leaked was still a major blow to the writers, who felt that the buggy mess wasn’t the way they wanted gamers to experience their story.
Red Dead Redemption 2 had a controversial development cycle, but the fruits of the developers’ labors were thankfully beloved by gamers. Still, leaks before release certainly didn’t help the stress developers were feeling. The long history of leaks is detailed in u/timmmy8’s post on r/Games.
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Highlights include the entire map being leaked way back in April of 2016, an astonishing two and a half years before the game’s release. Screenshots followed in the next month of what would later be known as Black Belle’s Hideaway. Once Rockstar announced the game officially in October 2016, that’s when major plot elements and gameplay details were leaked on Reddit all throughout 2017.
Pokemon has had an arduous relationship with leakers starting in 2010. Rather hilariously, most of them were leaked in forums that constantly derided them as fake, only to be proven wrong a few months later. It doesn’t help that veterans of Pokemon’s leak cycle like to trick newbies into “feeling in the know” by validating their (wrong) assumptions.
Gen 5’s starter Pokemon were leaked on 4chan, and eventually, all the new Pokemon over the course of a few months. This pattern would repeat with nearly every modern generation, all the way up to Sword and Shield. In some cases, the finished game would even leak weeks before its worldwide release, much to the chagrin of the developers.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest leaks in PC gaming history, an early version of Half-Life 2 was released that was dubbed Half-Life 2: Beta by fans. It was leaked in 2003 and had a significantly different style from the eventual final build. It was dark and gothic, several enemy types existed that weren’t in the final game, and most importantly, the story was far more diverse in the setting.
Although the playable beta was very buggy and unfinished, all these details were unmistakable. The leaks, more importantly, exposed a security weakness on Valve’s servers, and this played a role in delaying Half-Life 2’s final release date. These events would also give the devs time to rework the game’s aesthetic and narrative for the whole year. It’s a great example of how complex development can be, and how leaks aren’t always a foolproof example of the final product.
NEXT: 10 Best Video Game Sequels, According To Ranker
Gab Hernandez is a freelance writer who spends way too much time talking about stuff they watch instead of watching more things. They started writing on their personal blog in 2018, a few days after their birthday. Since then, they have made thousands of posts about all the things they love. Be it anime, current events, or just general word vomit, Gab talked about all of it on their blog. Still, they needed to find some way to fund their media-watching habits. That’s when Gab decided to go all in on the writing thing. They started writing professionally as a freelancer. Although it started with not-so-fun stuff like writing about SEO, Gab managed to find his niche in talking about movies, TV, and video games. Now, with years of freelance experience under their belt, Gab joined ScreenRant to find an even bigger audience to read their takes on the latest media: whether they want to or not.

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