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Video Game Spoilers The Internet Totally Ruined

There's an unspoken etiquette among the gaming community that discourages people from sharing detailed spoilers about a game until it's been out for at least a few months. Because this etiquette is often ignored, most people will avoid visiting their favorite gaming sites and forums until they've completed their own playthrough of a game. But what happens when a game is spoiled by the internet before it's released? There aren't many ways to protect yourself from a spoiler that you didn't see coming because no one should know the ending of the game yet. And yet, this happens more often than you'd hope.

Game companies go to great lengths to keep their developing projects secret. Everything from titles to characters, from mechanics to endings are hidden under the strictest lock and key. This, of course, doesn't matter if a hacker manages to break into their system. But the most unfortunate game leaks are the ones that happen accidentally. Sometimes a promotional image or trailer shows a bit too much information, or companies don't hide content on their site well enough, or gamers who are given early copies to promote the game accidentally leak something on their stream. 

No matter what the cause, an unexpected spoiler can sometimes ruin an experience for many players. Here are some of the worst spoilers that the internet totally ruined. Obviously, beware of spoilers if you haven't played these games.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite had their entire roster leaked

The release of a new Marvel vs. Capcom game always brings speculation with it. Fans are curious to know which characters they'll be able to take control of in this crossover fighting series. While there is often an abundance of fan theories thrown around before the game is actually released, things were a little different with the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

When fan excitement was first growing over the potential roster for Infinite, a source from NeoGAF going by the username Ryce leaked the entire list ... at least, what the internet thought was the entire list. Because Ryce had been an accurate source of information on Marvel vs. Capcom in the past, gamers were anxious to believe that the leak was legitimate. Once Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was released, a quick comparison of the leaked roster and the official roster showed that every one of the leaked characters, with the exception of Ant-Man, had been accurate. While this leaked roster spoiled the game for some fans, others only became that much more excited for the new lineup.

Mischief managed

Harry Potter mania has recently come back with a fervor, with the latest movies in the Fantastic Beasts series sparking a renewed interest in the wizarding world. Because of this ongoing excitement over the world author J.K. Rowling has created, it's no surprise that an open-world RPG for the Harry Potter franchise would soon come to fruition. A video of gameplay footage was leaked by an unnamed source, and those fans who were lucky enough to see the footage before it was taken down by Warner Bros. were treated to a first look at what promises to be an incredible expansion of this magical universe.

Set in the 1800s, this new open-world RPG will allow players to take on the role of a 5th-year student at Hogwarts. While there aren't many concrete details about the game yet, it's already been making waves in the gaming community thanks to the leaked footage. Though the footage was quickly pulled from YouTube, there have been rumors of copies floating around online, even though most get taken down as soon as they're put up. Much of this situation has the makings of an urban legend, with the video no one can find and the sources being anonymous, but gamers everywhere are eagerly awaiting more official news on this exciting development, even if the initial hype was spoiled by the leak.

An apology worth £1 million

In this age of instant access to just about any information you could want, it's only natural that people can easily stumble across confidential information. In early 2018, publisher TI Media posted an article revealing unreleased information about the then-upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2. With details like the battle royale mode being spoiled for the fans who were waiting to play the game themselves before learning too much about it, TI Media soon realized the mistake they had made.

The information that was leaked had reportedly come from a confidential corporate document that TI Media had access to. No word was ever made public about if they were or were not allowed to share the information they obtained and it wasn't clear if there was a lawsuit in place after they did, but the article in question was eventually taken down. Interestingly enough, the post was replaced by an apology, informing fans that not only did TI Media take full responsibility for their actions and apologize to the company, but they were also donating over £1 million to charities of Take-Two Interactive's choice.

Kingdom Hearts III was leaked six weeks before release

Game developers are well aware of the potential the internet provides for hackers. It's understood that details of their game may be released before they intended to share it with the community. But in the case of Kingdom Hearts III, the entire game was posted for sale on Facebook six weeks before it was supposed to come out. While some fans jumped at the opportunity to buy an early copy of the game, many were upset by this act of piracy. Those who had been excited to take advantage of the early release wouldn't be happy for long, as Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed that the leaked copy of the game was, in fact, incomplete.

Though the Facebook user managed to sell many copies of the game at $100 a piece, fans weren't getting the whole story. An important epilogue and secret movie were excluded from the pirated copy, thus leaving out huge chunks of the story and, as Nomura put it, "the biggest spoilers in the game." This seemed like a bit of karma for the pirate and those who purchased the leaked copies, but Nomura still made sure to be clear about his feelings on the subject. He asked fans to refrain from sharing videos taken from the pirated copy so that the Kingdom Hearts community could enjoy the complete version of the game when it was officially released.

Different release dates spoiled the infamous Baker family

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was a highly anticipated installment in the Resident Evil franchise. The trailers and promotional footage had promised a game full of dark twists and incredibly realistic graphics. Even as unappealing as they may be, the Baker family had already made their way into the hearts of the gaming community long before the release date. While the VR demo titled "Kitchen" let players know that hygiene would not be a high priority for these characters, it left many details about the plot and ending off the table. Unfortunately, details surrounding the ending of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard were leaked prior to the game's release in the United States.

Capcom was careful to make sure that details of the Resident Evil 7 plot were kept under lock and key. Most felt safe to explore their favorite gaming sites around the internet prior to the release because no information was made available to the public yet. That is, until plot points regarding the end of the game began showing up online. The leak itself has been attributed to copies of Resident Evil 7 that were made available in the Middle East before the release date in the United States. Because of this, those who were able to play the game ahead of U.S. residents began posting screenshots of the ending, effectively spoiling it for gamers everywhere.

Activision took a Call of Duty 3 leak and made it positive

Most of the time, when information about a game is leaked prematurely by someone other than the publisher said publisher then tries to either deny the validity of the leak or do some damage control. In the case of Call of Duty 3, however, Activision took a different approach.

When Kotaku reported leaked details about Activision's Call of Duty 3, instead of retaliating or attempting to gloss over the situation, the company simply took this as an opportunity to begin their promotions for the game earlier than they'd intended. Activision CEO Eric Hirschberg even said that no matter where the publicity had come from, the fact that people were talking about their game was a good thing. Activision not initiating the release of information didn't change its value in his mind.

Even with the optimistic outlook of Activision, it was still unfortunate for many fans to have the details of this new game leaked before the intended time, giving away details about locations, story, and gaming modes. Though everything ended well for Kotaku and Activision, there were still many gamers who were less than thrilled with having those things spoiled for them.

The first look at The Last Guardian

E3 is the pinnacle of gaming hype for a community that's always excited to get its hands on something new. People attend the convention or tune in online to see new trailers, learn details about previously announced games, or to be the first to find out about new titles. Because it's such a highly attended event, most developers and publishers will plan the announcement of their new games specifically around E3. It's the perfect venue to get the biggest exposure for your project.

This was Sony's original plan for the game we now know as The Last Guardian. A trailer was created especially for E3 to announce the title, which was then only called "Project Trico," to all of the fans who knew Sony had been cooking up something special. This is why it was so disappointing to Sony and fans everywhere when the trailer for "Project Trico" appeared unceremoniously on the fansite PlayStation LifeStyle, without any of the pomp and circumstance of an E3 announcement. The Last Guardian would go on to suffer several production setbacks, and while it's hard to say they stemmed directly from the leaked trailer, the blog responsible later expressed guilt over the part they played in slowing the game's momentum.

Leaking Half-Life 2 gets the attention of the FBI

Each generation seems to get more adept at deciphering the language of technology. Young coders and hackers are almost common in today's digital age. That's why it was only a matter of time before one eager young gamer stole valuable gaming information and used it to ruin the fun for everyone else.

In Germany, a young hacker named Axel Gembe managed to successfully infiltrate the Valve Corporation mainframe. And this access wasn't just a quick opportunity to get in, steal the game, and get back out again. Gembe was hanging around in Valve's system for weeks before discovering the source code for the then un-released Half-Life 2. Gembe (along with most of the gaming world) had been waiting impatiently for the sequel to Half-Life, which had been delayed after almost 5 years of work. 

Because of this, Gembe didn't think twice about stealing the source code, though he had no intention of sharing it with anyone other than a trusted friend or two. One of the anonymous people he gave the code to, however, leaked it on the internet, making it available to everyone. This, obviously, didn't sit well with the company and employees who had dedicated five years of their lives to this title and who attempted to have the boy arrested for $250 million in damages. In the end, Gembe received just two years of probation.

Sometimes it's not just the fans getting hurt

For those who put a large portion of their time, effort, and livelihood into creating games their fans will love, a series of leaked game details can feel like the end of the world. This was the case for Sledgehammer co-founder Glen Schofield when a large chunk of information leaked for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Schofield had gone to extensive lengths to make sure that the game he and his developers had worked on for three years remained tightly locked up so that no details could be spoiled for the fans. Unfortunately, it's impossible to control every aspect of game distribution, and somewhere along the Activision supply chain, the code was stolen, and a Twitch user by the name of Anfuny29 got a hold of it. Though Anfuny29's Twitch stream was quickly shut down, YouTubers were fast to capture the footage and immortalize it online for everyone to see. The damage had been done and Schofield felt at a loss, tweeting, "We took 3 years 2 make a game. Kept it quiet 4 the fans & it has to be stolen & leaked a week b4. That sucks. A real bummer. Thanks a lot." 

Starcraft II's ending was spoiled 3 years before release

Most of the time, when a video game leak makes its way onto the internet, there's a fair amount of skepticism. This is, after all, the internet. It's easy for anyone to post anything regardless of its validity. This is why, when a video emerged online showing the ending of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, some people were understandably hesitant to believe that it was real. There were, however, a few elements that reinforced the validity of the video. The voice acting wasn't yet complete and a few times throughout the cinematic, the video would jump to unfinished storyboards rather than a polished video. These aspects seemed too painstakingly authentic to be part of a faked leak, but seeing as how the video came out years before the game was expected to be released, the community was still skeptical.

One of the things that seemed to lend a sense of credibility to the clip was the fact that almost as soon as the public were made aware of the video, it was removed from YouTube and other sites by Blizzard due to copyright claims. Once Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm was finally released in 2013, it was undeniably confirmed that the video that first made its debut back in 2010, was, in fact, the actual ending cinematic.

Former Epic employee leaks important Fortnite information

The meteoric success of Epic's battle royale game Fortnite is the stuff of legend. The game rose to rapid popularity seemingly overnight, managing to beat out contemporaries like PlayerUnknown's Battleground, which was actually released before Fortnite. Because of this popularity, however, Epic Games was always sure to keep details of new seasons under wraps to make sure nothing was spoiled for the avid gaming community. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated when a former Epic employee decided to leak some rather telling information about Fortnite season 4.

Much speculation was made about what changes might occur to the Fortnite map when the meteor hit in season 4, but no solid facts where being given to fans at the time. Epic Games was keeping quiet so that the reveal would be a surprise, but that secrecy apparently didn't extend to former Epic QA agent Thomas Hannah. Epic reported that Hannah revealed the location of where the meteor would hit in season 4 to someone who then posted the leak to Reddit. The post itself was soon taken down, but that didn't stop Epic Games from attempting to sue Hannah for the damage he'd caused. Even with the leak, players were still excited to see the map-changing meteor that would eventually turn Dusty Depot into Dusty Divot.