Information about your game making it to the press ahead of schedule can potentially have serious consequences – but it’s not all bad news.
That’s the warning from Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley, who told PCGamesN that leaks and rumours are a ‘mixed blessing’ for game creators.
“We’re a bit split on leaks and rumours – whilst they can be fun to read from a fan perspective, from that of a professional actually inside the industry they are a mixed blessing,” he explained.
On the positive side, he added: “Leaks are great for readers, and great for the media that publishes them because they often feel alive with illicit thrills and raw, un-PR-spun energy.”
However, the building of genuine interest and excitement for a game can be brought crashing to a halt by other possible side-effects.
“What people underestimate is how many different partners can be impacted,” Kingsley continued.
“At the extreme end of the scale, leaks and rumours can actually affect a company’s share price. Luckily that’s not something we have to worry about, but what if a report negatively impacted a deal that was being negotiated with a publisher or distributor? Or what if an individual never gets to work in the industry again because a leak came through them by mistake?
“There are very good reasons that devs tend to plan their reveals very carefully. It’s not some sneaky PR conspiracy to ‘control the message’ for no good reason.”
Expanding on his last point, Kingsley also offered his advice to developers who may be upset by the negative reception or portrayal of their title among the games media – suck it up.
“In a free society I’d also point out that players and journalists have the right to be indifferent, or even to hate our work and to write about it in those terms,” he stated.
“I might not be happy with a scathing review, or negative comments, but we should all value them as part of the press’ freedom.”