The “insider” culture of video games has exploded in recent years. With the industry becoming increasingly secretive, enthusiasts have turned their attention to rumor-makers, teasing them with information about upcoming games. This poses a huge challenge for sites like ours: much of the information is iffy at best, but with fans clinging to every word from some of these accounts, we often have a lot of this often baseless speculation.
A recently released account called TheRealInsider quickly garnered a huge following after successfully leaking Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the latest game in Ubisoft’s stealth sandbox series. The French publisher was forced to come out and confirm the title ahead of the previously scheduled Ubisoft Forward showcase, promising more details would be revealed during the livestream. However, it turns out that the so-called “insider” was just a YouTuber who broke the embargo.
Dan Allen Gaming, an Australian account with nearly 200,000 subscribers, was invited early on to see the latest games from Ubisoft. However, instead of respecting the embargo like his colleagues, he decided to leak information on the account of his alter ego TheRealInsider. He was exposed after forgetting to change Twitter handles before responding to a follower, and things slowly unraveled. After initially denying the act, additional evidence emerged.
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The YouTuber has since uploaded a customary apology video, where he owns everything. He admits that not all of his rumors were based on embargoed information; for instance, he posted about Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, which he admits was “bullsh*t” in his own words. As for why he did this despite already running a successful YouTube channel with great connections in the industry, he says he did it all for the “clunking power.”
It’s another sobering reminder of why insider culture is a problem. While we don’t expect this to stop fans from sticking to the words of the next major social media account to come out, we at least hope it will give gamers a break before believing everything they read on Twitter. The reality is that many of these rumor-makers are contenders chasing the dopamine trickle of social media popularity.