A notorious Russian game-website Kanobu.ru rose to international prominence yesterday as the first media to publish leaked information about the upcoming videogame Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
A notorious Russian game-website Kanobu.ru rose to prominence yesterday as the first media to publish leaked information about the upcoming videogame Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
For a couple of days Square Enix was teasing gamers with a very boring Twitch stream: a bunch of people walking around the room doing nothing. Yesterday the whole pre-announcement anticipation was broken by guys from Kanobu, a popular Russian media-outlet. Journalists published the whole announcement with lots of details and screenshots. After a couple of hours information was confirmed by the cover of the latest issue of Game Informer. It featured the games’ protagonist Adam Jansen in his crazy enhanced armor.
Shut Up Kanobu” – the title of the article © Kanobu, 2015
There are a couple of questions worth answering here and we will try to shed some light on the issue.
How did Kanobu learn about the upcoming announcement?
Well it wasn’t a big secret after all. During the Twitch stream a couple of people shared their guesses about the upcoming announcement.
Where did Kanobu get the info?
Game Informer Cover © Game Informer, 2015
The text of the first news article was written by Georgy Kopyov. The reporter did not disclose his source, but it was obviously a massive leak not authorized by Square Enix and its PR department. In a separate article celebrating its success Kanobu stated that the editorial office received information from its own source non related to Russian publishers of the game.
Why aren’t they getting sued?
Well, they are Russians. And these guys don’t seem to be afraid of anything. They did not sign any NDA. There was no embargo to follow and the editor’s hands were not tied. Pretty smart.
This is not the first time that information about the game is leaked online weeks ahead of its release. Ubisoft is especially known for pre-announcement leaks. Sony’s Last Guardian trailer was also leaked before the huge E3 announcement. The list goes on and on. There are also lots of publications that publish information even if they are not really allowed to publish it. Jeuxvideo.com is one of those websites that constantly breaks embargo. There’s also allgamesbeta.com, Surfer Girls (currently not active), Kotaku and others.
Is Deus Ex leak a good or a bad thing? It’s obviously good for Kanobu and the gaming community and it’s pretty bad for Square Enix and it’s PR-agency (some people are definitely going to be sacked). This event also brings up the question of information security in contemporarymedia space. There’s little time to play hide and seek with the Internet and the publishers usually lose this game. So if you have to announce anything, just announce it. Or someone will do it for you.