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.