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The GTA 6 Trailer Leak Could Be Worse Than We Knew

Remember when the leaked "GTA 6" trailer broke the internet? We'd all been waiting a long time to get a first look at the game, but the way the trailer got released was almost bigger news than anything it actually revealed. Less than 24 hours before it was supposed to officially debut, the a watermarked version of the trailer leaked online, forcing Rockstar to push the official one out early. Now we're starting to learn a little more about what might have been behind the "GTA 6" trailer leak. 

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According to a new report from Insider Gaming, around the same time as the leak, Google opened up an investigation into some of its employees at YouTube. This wouldn't be the first time that YouTube employees have been tied to a video game leak, and the report digs into other incidents during which employees seemingly abused their backend access. One of the sad truths about the "GTA 6" leak is that it's part of a growing trend, in which tons of info about major game releases hits the internet before developers would prefer. There's no way to completely prevent something like this from happening again, but it's still worth tracking down the source of big leaks. Game developers should get the opportunity to make big reveals on their own terms, but based on the report about what might have happened with the "GTA 6" trailer, that could keep getting more difficult.

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YouTube may have a leak problem

It's looking more and more like Google/YouTube has a serious problem with leakers. 404 Media released a report discussing some truly terrifying privacy concerns surrounding Google's services. The report was based on Google data culled from 2013-2018, and it included some shocking news for gamers: a Google employee may have leaked info from a private YouTube video uploaded to Nintendo's official account.

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Building on that report, Insider Gaming took a look at multiple instances of gaming leaks that might have been tied to YouTube. According to the report, scheduled and private videos (which are necessary tools for big releases like the "GTA 6" trailer) could be a huge vector for leaks. An unnamed source told Insider Gaming, "Your videos are not just watched for monetization approval. They are watched by employees all the time."

As an example, Insider Gaming pointed to a KSI video called "Try not to make me laugh," through which viewers could (in theory) get Amazon Gift cards from codes KSI showed on the screen. The video was scheduled, but all the codes had already been redeemed by the time it went live. Google reportedly opened an investigation into that incident and fired some employees. The report also notes that within hours of Sony's latest State of Play video being scheduled on YouTube, an accurate game list was posted online, pointing to yet another leak somewhere in the developer-to-YouTube pipeline.

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Figuring out what happened with the GTA 6 trailer

All of this brings us back to the "GTA 6" trailer. According to Insider Gaming's Tom Henderson, Google opened a new investigation into employees at YouTube around the same time the trailer leaked. Though it could be unrelated to the "GTA 6" trailer, Henderson argues that the timing seems oddly coincidental. The investigation is inconclusive at this time, but no doubt has some "GTA" fans on edge.

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This doesn't necessarily mean that YouTube is to blame for Rockstar's continued leak problem, of course, even if Google employees were as involved as Henderson posits. The developer had already been hit by a massive "GTA 6" leak in 2022, so even if some unscrupulous YouTube employees are part of the problem here, there's more to solve. Developers obviously want to find some way to clamp down on leaks, and gamers should too. Leaks are occasionally exciting, but they're discouraging for devs and rarely provide the best information. It's best to see the latest major trailer drop in 1080p on release day, rather than in a low-resolution vertical video on TikTok.

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