It turns out that a Twitter account called TheRealInsider, the latest in a series of leakers posing as gaming industry insiders, was actually run by YouTuber Dan Allen Gaming. The account had convinced many on the scene that it was the real deal after accurately mocking what new assassin’s Creed games would Revealed at Ubisoft Games Showcase 2022. But now it appears that Allen was simply leaking privileged and embargoed information that he received as an influencer. “Sorry to everyone for my actions,” he wrote on Twitter before deleting both accounts.
Allen has 189,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel where he posts guides, interviews with voice actors, and streams of everything from multiverse a elden ring. No one suspected him of secretly leaking industry marketing materials he received under embargo until he accidentally responded to someone who asked TheRealInsider a question on Twitter as his main Dan Allen Gaming account. After, BloombergJason Schreier reviewed previous tweets from both accounts and discovered many overlaps.
“If this is legit, and looking through both accounts sure they seem to be tweeting about the same games at the same time, it would explain how this ‘real insider’ knew the AC code names,” Schreier wrote in a Discord comment. “He broke the embargo himself.”
But people did not have to speculate for long. Allen admitted it soon after and posted an apology. “I’m sorry to everyone for my actions,” he would say. “I am ashamed and disappointed in myself. I will take some time to reflect on my bad decisions, which will never happen again. To everyone who has supported me over the years, I am truly [sic] I’m sorry I let you down.
There is a difference between when a journalist uncovers information that they consider to be of public interest and presents it to the world, and when a person accepts an embargo or an NDA, and a company shares information under the assumption that the details will not be revealed until a date and certain hours.
TheRealInsider’s biggest claim to fame it was the ubisoft leakteasing Japan’s open world RPG called Project Red and several others assassin’s Creed games four days before the official showcase, and before they were informed by TryHardGuides and, later that same day, Bloomberg. As Stephen Totilo from Axios points out, that was the same day that Ubisoft informed the press about the showcase (Kotaku I do not participate). More often though, the account has teased upcoming things like hands-on previews, as in the case of Square Enix abandoned. This trajectory recently made TheRealInsider one of the fixtures of the Game leaks and rumors subreddita popular watering hole for fans to speculate on upcoming releases based on industry reports and, more commonly, random tweets.
Allen’s departure comes within a week of the massive Grand Theft Auto VI leak and a Nintendo Direct where many rumored games once again failed to materialize. It has spurred a renewed debate about the value and ethics of leaking gaming industry secrets, which may run the gamut from where the next Fall will be held if a studio has been mistreating its employees. Many people are fed up with rumours, and developers and marketers are understandably not a fan of seeing their work discussed online outside of their control, especially when it revolves around incomplete or inaccurate information. Does that mean it will end soon? Consider me doubtful.
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Coincidentally, the first outlet to break the news about TheRealInsider was a new post from industry insider Tom Henderson called, what else, internal games. While some were name critic, which is even invoked on the about page where sources are encouraged to “become insiders” by reaching out, the site crashed immediately after it launched yesterday when too many people tried to visit it at once. answered an apparent fan“Fuck the critics, see you inside.”
Update: 9/20/22 10:00pm ET: Allen has not returned to Twitter but has posted a five-minute apology video on his YouTube channel. In that apologizes profusely to fans, colleagues, and others, explaining that some of the alleged leaks were nothing more than educated guesses or completely fabricated.
“I mentioned Silent Hill Y Metal Gear Solid Remake and I can say that there was no NDA there because it’s all a lie, it’s all a lie,” says Allen. He also mentions that a mockery of god of war ragnarok before it was the most recent Sony State of Play, which was later shown to be accuratewas based solely on Kratos’ voice actor, Christopher Judge, who retweeted the broadcast link before the performance.
“I have lost friends in the industry, I have lost personal and business relationships, opportunities—all so you know five seconds of fame and I take full responsibility,” says Allen. “All the hate I’ve gotten on Twitter is just, but I had to delete it because I’ve never experienced that barrage of hate before, and again, totally justified, but I had to get away from it. because I am just, you know, mentallyisn’t it cool to see all that stuff about they’re putting you out there and I haven’t experienced that before.”