Last Of Us II Leaker Didn't Work At Naughty Dog, Sony Says

Screenshot: Sony

Earlier this week what appeared to be major spoilers from The Last of Us Part II leaked on YouTube and Reddit. Sony now says it knows who the leaker was, and contrary to widespread online speculation, can confirm they were not a disgruntled Naughty Dog employee.

“SIE has identified the primary individuals responsible for the unauthorised release of TLOU2 assets,” Sony said in a statement to Polygon. “They are not affiliated with Naughty Dog or SIE.” The company said it couldn’t comment any further on the circumstances around the leak as it continues to investigate the matter.

Appearing online last weekend, the leaks spoiled major aspects of the game, including its ending. “It’s disappointing to see the release and sharing of pre-release footage from development,” Naughty Dog said in a statement on Monday. “Do your best to avoid spoilers and we ask that you don’t spoil it for others.”

Some news outlets at the time reported unfounded rumours that the leak had come from an upset Naughty Dog employee. It’s unclear what the original source of that rumour was, but it appeared to be based on speculation about the state of working conditions at Naughty Dog. In March Kotaku reported that the studio was in crunch mode trying to complete The Last of Us Part II and that the long hours were taking their toll on its developers.

A debate unfolded on social media over the efficacy of a developer potentially using a leak of this nature as leverage to prompt change in internal studio conditions. Some people argued that any means to affect necessary change would be justified, while others contended that such leaks would only hurt the leaking developer’s colleagues and their work.

In any case, the rumour that sparked that debate has now been debunked.

The Last of Us Part II was originally set to come out in May, but was indefinitely delayed earlier this month. On Monday, following the leaks, Sony announced the game had a new release date of June 19, just a few weeks after it was originally supposed to debut.


Comments

    So random people online have access to the finished code? Sorry I’m not buying Sony’s explanation. Sounds like damage control PR.

      I think the more likely scenario is someone related to the play tester or the play tester himself leaked it. Play testers were never part of naughty dog and Sony.

      The disgruntled employee angle is possible but it’s also the most unlikely and unsubstantiated.

    Kotaku is the Pot in the scenario when it comes to unfounded rumors.

      Indeed. leaking is bad except when we do it first! to be fair however Jason Schrier is basically the pot rather than the site as a whole. he's also very inconsistent. for every good article he makes some very poor ones.

        Er... Jason doesn't have anything to do with this article. In fact, he's moved on from Kotaku altogether.

          not him this time but, Kotaku as a whole hasn't really ever practiced what they are preaching here. Jason was just the biggest offender.

        Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on this particular accusation, if only because I can't remember any major plot twists that Schrier has spoiled. All the leaks that have come out from him have basically been shit they put on the fucking box cover art. If it's something the company will put in a fucking trailer, it's not a fucking spoiler.

          He leaked the setting and character names/organisations in Fallout 4 before the game was even announced. Bethesda have blacklisted Kotaku ever since. He also leaked the setting for AC: Origin being in Egypt. There were a few more leaks he did but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

            Oh no, did you forget? When Kotaku does it, it is 'in the name of reporting on gaming news'.

            They're totally not hypocrites... And they definitely don't ever remind people about how big bad Bethesda blacklisted them years ago for leaking that Fallout 4 info.

            Like I said... if it’s on the fucking box art or in a trailer, it’s not a fucking spoiler. It might annoy marketing who want to do a big splash but it’s not anywhere even close to the TLOU2 spoilers.

              You're just arguing for the sake of arguing at this stage.

    February 21: scheduled release
    April 2: indefinite further delay of finished game due to dropping financial projections
    April 27: leak
    April 27: set release date again

    The only people who I could possibly think of that would have access to the (nearly complete?) game other than ND and SIE would be a ratings review board? I doubt reviewer's have their hands on it for a preview, right?

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