Update: Ubisoft has issued a statement aimed at the YouTuber who broke embargoes on an alter-ego’s Twitter account before being caught. Dan Allen Gaming masqueraded as the TheRealInsider on social media, leaking sensitive information he’d been privy to as part of his YouTube channel. A lot of this information was embargoed, and was not meant for public consumption until a date pre-agreed with the publisher.
Some of this information included the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which was due to be unveiled during a Ubisoft Forward livestream. In a statement, a spokesperson for the French publisher has told Eurogamer.net that it “takes these matters seriously”.
“We regularly provide access and information on our games under NDA to trusted partners,” the statement says. “When that trust is compromised, or information is leaked by an individual, it's not only damaging and demoralising to our teams, but it takes away from an exciting reveal moment and experience for our players. While we won't speak on an individual case, we do take these matters seriously and will manage accordingly.”
If it’s indeed true that Dan Allen Gaming had signed an NDA, which is a legally binding contract preventing details to be revealed prior to a pre-arranged time, then we suspect he may need to hire a handful of solicitors ASAP.
Original Story: Video game “insider” culture has exploded in recent years. With the industry increasingly secretive, enthusiasts have turned their attention to rumourmongers, who tease them with tidbits of information on upcoming games. This presents a huge challenge for sites like ours: a lot of the intel is dubious at best, but with fans clinging to every word from some of these accounts, we’re often required to get to the bottom of a lot of this often baseless speculation.
One account that emerged recently named TheRealInsider quickly assembled an enormous 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 prior to its previously planned Ubisoft Forward showcase, promising that more details would be revealed during the livestream. However, it turns out that the so-called “insider” was merely a YouTuber breaking embargo.
Dan Allen Gaming, an Australian account with almost 200k subscribers, had been invited to see the latest games from Ubisoft early. However, rather than respect the embargo like his peers, he decided to leak information on his alter-ego TheRealInsider’s account. He was exposed after forgetting to change Twitter handles before replying to a follower, and things slowly unravelled from there. After initially denying the deed, additional evidence came to the fore.
The YouTuber has since uploaded a customary apology video, in which he owns up to everything. He admits that not all of his rumours were based on embargoed information; he posted about Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, for example, which he admits was – in his own words – “bullsh*t”. As for why he did this despite already having a successful YouTube channel with great industry connections, he says he did it all for the “clout”.
It's another sobering reminder of why insider culture is a problem. While we don’t expect this to prevent fans from clinging to the words of the next big social media account that emerges, we at the very least hope it will give gamers pause before they believe everything they read on Twitter. The reality is that a lot of these rumourmongers are chancers chasing the dopamine drip of social media popularity.