Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Gets Pirated Days Before Launch, Causing Major Leaks

For the last week, the Zelda fandom has become a minefield of spoilers, as various Breath of the Wild related images, screenshots and videos have leaked ahead of the official release. It's only gotten worse today. (Some spoilers ahead.)

Late this month, some fans discovered that they were able to briefly download Breath of the Wild-related files directly from Nintendo's servers. While Nintendo reportedly took the files down, they were available for long enough that they're now all over the internet. The images purported to show weapons, special costumes, armour and other surprising imagery:

Players were able to determine the veracity of some these leaked images using footage hailing from previews, which appeared to confirm the validity of individual aspects of the leak, such as hoods, and the ability to dye your garb:

As players online tell it, some also downloaded encrypted BOTW files straight from Nintendo last week, and those can allegedly become playable on the Wii U with a digital skeleton key sourced for a legit version of the game. As of today, it seems that the floodgates have flown wide open, and players are now circulating images of nearly every single item, enemy and object in the game — including the final boss. On YouTube, there are currently 1.5k people watching a stream of Breath of the Wild right now. That's just within the last few hours.

Reportedly, all of this material is making the rounds because Breath of the Wild — Nintendo's biggest game of the year — is now being pirated on the Wii U days before the actual official release, all because of that aforementioned leak. It isn't the first time something like this has happened to a major Nintendo game, as last year, Pokemon Sun and Moon also leaked and got pirated early. It remains to be seen if the Switch will also have the same vulnerabilities.

Given the depth and breadth of the leaks, they have come to dominate discussions within Zelda fandom — so if you want to go pristine, now may be a great time to get off the internet.


    Time to leave the internet for two weeks.

      Maybe if Kotaku is nice enough, they won't post spoilers if they surface? Especially spoilers that are in the article title, with the front picture being also a massive spoiler... Kotaku... Spoiling things soo hard that I don't even have to read the article... Kotaku...

    They should have gone streaming only like the wildly successful Phantom a few years back.

    Link dies page 208

      this is a fake spoiler right mrbs? i'm assuming it is but i just wanna make sure.

        Totes legit spoiler. Page 208. Bank on it.

          How does he die then?

            404 - Broken link.

    I look forward to being able to play this on my Shield TV since the hardware is identical :P

    You can modchip a Wii U? Are modchips still a thing?

      From what I've seen, you can soft-mod a Wii U using a USB and some software. I don't know if you can find Wii U roms lying about, but my friend did it so he could rip all of his games onto a USB so he didn't have to get up off his lazy arse and change the disc.

        Huh, I remember back in the days of the glorious modchipped ps1 and ps2 and when you have that mate who goes to bangkok and comes back with a stack of games.

        But then with latest generations you get games at a fraction of the price after a year or so.

        Well, except for nintendo games where even their "selects" range is only about $10-$20 off full price

    bet the emulators are already in progress

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