It's a sad world we live in now that what passes as journalism are those nameless entities who provide "leaks" from anonymous sources. There's no need for verification, there's no need for fact-checking, there's no need legitimacy. The only thing there's a need for are those sweet, sweet clicks. Game leaks provide those, and to stay afloat, there's no choice but jumping on that bandwagon.
No game leak is more ubiquitous as the "GTA VI Leak". Indeed, no leak is more financially lucrative. The site that gets the scoop inspires copycats, so many in fact, that it becomes hard to even find the original source. There is so little accountability on the web, and let's be real, games publishers like Rockstar Games are having an absolute field day. They love it, after all, we're not doing "journalism", we're simply acting as an extension of their marketing department.
If anything could be more tedious than yet-another GTA VI leak, it would be just about any "This game is getting a remake" leak. Seriously. I am probably about to annoy a large collection of Grand Theft Auto enthusiasts when I say: I really couldn't care less about a remake of a collection of twenty-plus year-old games. Seriously. Enough is enough, release a new game, damnit. Or, at least, announce the bloody thing!
GTA is certainly the worst offender, but it stretches right across the industry, if we're honest. From faceless entities revealing that Call of Duty: Vanguard will have "more than 10,000 camos!" (omg, guys, that's amazing), to the whole "Is Jimmy Neutron coming to Fortnite?" fiasco (though that was, admittedly, not really a leak), everything is leak, leak, leak, leak. That's what gets the views, that's what writes those click-bait headlines.
Alright, so I might sound like I'm complaining a little bit too much, but to be honest, I couldn't really give less of a toss. It's so annoying, I want my Grand Theft Auto! But I don't want a remake! I want a new game! Actually, I generally want new games. This year's habit of just releasing remakes and remasters has really scratched me the wrong way. As the writer of EarlyGame's Monthly Game Release Watch, I can't help but get exasperated...
It has really been a bit like "Oh, yeah, here's the one new game coming out this month. Also, here's a remake. Here's a remaster. Here's another remake. Here's another remaster." It's probably a bit of a symptom of this pandemic, with development being a little bit fraught over the last two years, but seriously... what is going on at the moment? A new Pokémon is out in January, but first! A remake of a ten-plus year-old Pokémon game! Exciting... Really bloody exciting...
I am a little off-topic now, though. Don't get me wrong, I understand why leaks work. I understand that these little snippets of information discovered by various dataminers within the source code, or provided by anonymous, CIA-style informants at various different development studios is a little bit intriguing. Honestly, though, can someone please go on the record? For once? Once in their life?
I should really stop complaining, I know, but there is something profoundly bizarre about the fact that almost every week we find ourselves staring down the barrel of another leak. Wait, what is coming to Call of Duty 2022? Is this the artwork? Omg! Will the new "xyz" have terrible graphics? Who are these sources? Where did they get this information? Is it credible? Nope, it's a "leak", we don't need to check on that. Okay, then, mate. Cool story, bro.
It's almost like these blokes on Twitter are waddling off to a train station every few days, exchanging briefcases with black-coat-clad strangers with big pairs of sunglasses. I mean, it would make sense in a way, Covid-19 has certainly made espionage even easier due to the fact that, at said train stations, one must wear a mask anyway. Prior to 2020, if you turned up with a mask, everybody would be instantly suspicious. I almost expect that the future of video game journalism will read like: "the man wore a green Yoshi mask as he handed me the soft, black leather briefcase... 'You were never here' he muttered under his breath, as he took the next train to Berlin."
Seriously, though, I would rather eat my hat than hear about another Grand Theft Auto VI leak.
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