Halo 5 Boss ‘Annoyed’ With Industry “Insiders” – Breaking Embargoes ‘Doesn’t Require Skill or Insight’

Halo 5 Boss Frank O’Connor isn’t happy with so-called industry “insiders” who’ve been causing headaches for the higher-ups at companies like 343 Industries and Microsoft trying to keep games like the recently announced Halo 5: Guardians a secret.

In a brief aside on a NeoGAF thread hosting discussions on the topic of embargoed information, O’Connor chimed in, saying that individuals like the infamous “CBOAT” who leak embargoed information are a detriment to developers and are often responsible for the spread of misinformation.

“Breaking embargos is not prophesy. Nor does it require any particular skill or insight,” O’Connor wrote. “Ultimately [CBOAT] is taking or being given information and leaking it, illegally and often erroneously. And he isn’t doing it for some noble or worthy reason. He’s doing it for attention.

“People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up. It’s not fun, and for what? So you can have a mildly interesting surprise 8 hours early and lacking context? Or get hyped or disappointed disproportionately? Or get someone fired or someone innocent yelled at?

“Ok. But it isn’t prophecy, nor ultimately even important. It’s annoying.”

Most recently, Engadget was tipped off with information about an alleged “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” a rumored collection of remastered Halo titles; Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, coming to Xbox One some time this year. Similar details were outed by the mysterious “ntkrnl” in an older NeoGAF post containing “predictions,” some of which have indeed proven true, including Halo 5 in 2015, a $399 Xbox One model, a Titanfall Xbox One bundle, and more.

What’s your take on leaked information, especially regarding big game announcements? Is it a hindrance to hard-working developers trying to build hype for their project, or, as a reader of video game news, do you prefer getting “insider” info as early as possible, even if unconfirmed?

Tell us in the comments.

Via TotalXbox

  • sd94

    I see where he’s coming from, but he is blowing things out of proportion. I’ll use the leaking of Project Beast as an example. Sure, it would’ve been amazing if it stayed secret and Sony blew us away with it at E3. But the thread for it on GAF had over 1 million views in three days. People are DAMN excited for that game’s reveal, even if they know it’s coming.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is it goes both ways. Sure, the “insiders” can leak incorrect information, but they can do just as much — if not more — to hype up a game than the publisher or developer’s own marketing machine.

    • Joel Santana

      ” but they can do just as much — if not more — to hype up a game than the publisher or developer’s own marketing machine.”

      Yup. Sometimes I feel that a publisher/developer at times, does a bad job getting their product out there for the general masses to understand what’s going on or what it’s about, especially for new IP’s such as Destiny for example.

      • But isnt that’s what media outlets are for? The gaming journalist,, they inquire directly to the developer or publisher about thes things right? I cannot recall a time where Mp1st among some others, were “tipped off” about details of a new game, or details of a console. But if Endgadget and IGN have to rely on “inside sources” then either the outles are doing their jobs wrong, or the anonymous developer handing the info over is breaking the rules. An official announcement builds just as much hype as a leak, maybe more so since it woult be confirmed. Remember when full Games like Crysis and Gears of War got leaked? The developer lost tons of money as a result. Mass Effect had to have a portion rewritten bc to much crucial plot detail was out in the wild, same for Gears 3 I think. Sure seeing it got people excited but they’d be excited regardless.

        Imagine that you had an interview with a Dev you busted your ass to get finally. Now, write up the draft , perfectly proofread, and before you know it, its handed off to some “insider” and forwarded it to the Editor in Chief at Eurogamer? They post as their own and there’s is nothing you can do. You lose traffie because your exclusive interview is on their site first. It got people excited but at then expense of MP1st. Its called frustration and that’s how these people feel,.

  • As someone whose dealt with embargoes//NDA a lot, it really goes both ways, and sometimes you get told something from the inside you really just want to say “Hey world of gamers, so and so are coming out with this awesome new title, get hyped”.

    Prime example is Titanfall. The alpha footage really took a hold of a bunch of people, and when the beta came around, they were so overwhelmed it went from invite only to public. That’s insane to think about, and something like 2 million unique players played 2 maps with 2 modes because the hype was real both from leaked footage and official.

    I understand where O’Connor is coming from, you really want to surprise people instead of someone ruining that big wow factor that grabs a lot of people, but it isn’t nothing new, and the only way to stop it is to monitor the people that sign that NDA.

  • Mr. Thuggins

    I can side with the devs on this one. Ruining or cheapening people’s hard work just so you make yourself feel important is uncalled for.

    • asgaro

      I personally don’t understand. How can a leak of information “ruin” or “cheapen” a game?
      If your marketing campaign is so important, that a leak messes it all up and hands get thrown into the air, I think you should stop focusing on spending millions of dollars on silly marketing campaigns!
      Make a good game and the customers will come. Look at all those TONS of indie games on PC that simply don’t spend a dime in marketing but become big sellers.

      The AAA game development industry should get with the times and learn to be flexible. Anno 2014, gamers want more interactivity with devs. Gamers love info fresh from the press. They love leaks.
      AAA game devs can’t hold back that trend. Indie game development has been getting bigger and bigger, and transparancy is KEY there.

      • disqus_TCr2DiTW3m

        these games thrive off the hype built up over the months before release. fake insider leaks could ruin that hype resulting in lower sales. thats how it can “ruin” a game

  • MegaMan3k

    Leaks aren’t pointless. Gamers are information hungry. Be more open with information flow. Leaks show that. Leaks show that gamers are open to early information, rough information, and partial information. What drives gamers crazy is silence. All the fascination with “Early Access” shows that.

    BUT, that said, I agree entirely. Leaking and breaking embargoes does not require any skill or insight. But, then again, arguably, neither does video game “journalism.” I fully support people like Supperannuation or Q-Man or etc who do sleuthing and piece things together from job postings, Blight, LinkedIn, etc and draw conclusions. That’s skill. That’s insight. That’s worth celebrating.

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    That’s it, canceling my pre-order.

    *crosses arms, pouts in corner*

  • chris

    Wish someone leaked alot more info about ghosts before it came out, I fucking pre ordered, got the season pass, and to this day hold a huge grudge against anyone who worked on that game, let alone the morons who thought it should be published. I thought there was gunna be dedicated servers, a new engine, and new animations, and balanced gunplay. There are upsides to leaking info early, at least for consumers, I take most of the info with a grain of salt, but I am very thankful for leaked info, companies aren’t upset about leaked info bc it hurts sales, it’s often because it shines a light on just what they want to hide. Lack of content, uninteresting gameplay and plot, horrible engine bugs. All in all there is only an upside to getting info about your game out in a timely manner, but these companies are just that, companies, they are not your friend, they do not want to impress you, they want to do just enough to rake in the cash with as little effort as they possibly can, I.E. MAP DLC, GUN CAMO, Character models, and other asshole tactics that used car salesmen employ.

  • Michael D. Harrison

    So is Frank playing the victim here of his own hype machine? Most people here have real world problems/stress to deal with. Should we as gamers start a kickstarter to buy Frank a sympathy card?

    • Dirtknap

      To be fair, any complaint aired on this and any similar site (be it article content or within discussion in the comments), qualifies as a first world problem.

      Perhaps the kickstarter campaign could be implemented to create a cash pool to supply sympathy cards whenever we complain about CoD, micro transactions, F2P or early access models, traffic, the quality of coffee at work, delays to games etc 😉

    • Leon

      Of course not! It is a common knowledge that everybody hates Frank. 😉

    • disqus_TCr2DiTW3m

      how would you feel if you worked on a project for years just to have some random person leak information about it? I’m sure you’d be pissed off too

  • Cameron Purdie

    “People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up.”

    I’m sorry, that’s just not how that works. You don’t all get to be Quentin Tarantino who can pitch a fit when something gets leaked and cancel all of it. Your stuff being leaked doesn’t “blow up” anyone’s efforts.

    • Dirtknap

      Is it not creator of the contents right to release information on their project within their planned timeline? Do you think it okay for the “insiders” to breach their contracts?

      When these leaks happen it can be damaging to creative flow, marketing strategy, the greater business strategy and perhaps supply competing developers with sensitive information. I’m not sure how a Tarantino example is relevant here, while O’Connor is clearly inflamed by this issue all he’s done is strongly voice his opinion, this hasn’t been accompanied with prima donna behavior (eg. axing an entire project).

      As a gamer, I constantly thirst for any information on titles I am anticipating and industry news in general, however I can understand the stance taken.

      • Nostalgia

        To be honest, I’d have no problem if Halo 5 was axed because gamers today don’t deserve half the crap we’re given.

        If gamers want to encourage information leaks, I wouldn’t hold it against a developer if they decided to ax the project altogether, not even for a second. I’m sure it’d teach selfish pricks like Cameron Purdie to sit patiently and wait his turn like the good little dog that he is, until official information is ready to be released.

        I might love video games but I’m a dying breed, I actually support my fucking developers and realize that video games are THEIR bloody creations, not yours Cameron.

        • Dirtknap

          If I was in your general vicinity, I’d buy you a beer. As it is we’re already drowning in information on upcoming games, comms via official channels are more than enough. Patience is a virtue as my Grandma taught me, experiances are all the sweeter for exercising just a little patience and feeling like you’ve earned something.

        • MegaMan3k

          How do you feel about unofficial pictures of movie filming or movie sets?

          Take The Dark Knight. They filmed it on the streets of Chicago. Anybody with a window view could take a picture and upload it, which they did.

          • Nostalgia

            Unfortunately doing something like movie shoots, using public streets.. there is zero, absolutely ZERO chance of stopping that. Does that mean I still agree with it, no.

            @IamConnolly:disqus Gamers are at fault too. They are praising and rewarding people for leaking information. Bringing up politics for a second, I’m blanking on his name but he fled to Russia after the WikiLeaks. People are praising him but the idiots that are, don’t realize that harm that it put on our men and women still on the bloody ground.

            Even if you aren’t committing the crime itself, you’re still supporting it. (Yes, in ways leaked information isn’t against the law but you know what I mean).

        • IamConnolly

          It’s the bloody media what do you expect? This happens in absolutely every form of entertainment media that exists today. Quite frankly, this happens so often that if they haven’t planned for if something like this happens then they are at fault.

          Plenty of games have shown that just because they have big leaks it does not spell the end of the world for it. In fact, many times people talking about your game because of leaks can actually bolster the hype around it. The only thing you don’t get is that single WOW.

          If a dev wants to take their ball and go home then, whoopty dee fucking doo, everyone will gladly move on to something new. The blame is on the person who leaked it not Gamers who have done the erroneous crime of being excited for a game.

  • RustyFrags

    I agree with both sides of the argument here. On one side, it’s disheartening to have somebody ruin all of your hard work, but at the same time, it can build up hype and positive speculation.

  • pot51e

    Sorry, but this is life. The more people you involve in something, the higher the likelihood of information being leaked – doesn’t matter if its HALO, XBOX, project PRISM, the latest Ferrari or Star Wars VII. Information has a kudos, and t’internet is a kudos epeen machine.

    The gaming industry suffers worse than most due to its own penchant for rolling out a hype train; back in the day you would either A) see an advert/review for a game that was less than a week from release or B) Be advised that game “x” is coming out next year.

    Now the industry demo, public alpha/beta, announce and start hyping before they have anything like a finished product – and sometimes well over 12 months before there will be.

    It’s a bit like the issue of celebrities who rely on publicity complaining when something is made public. You cant have it both ways,

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  • Lee D

    Embargoes have become a joke anyway. Now we have embargoes on fucking teaser trailers, day-one review embargoes. It’s pathetic and a little bit cynical, a little bit sinister. Anything which meddles with the plans of the monstrous marketing machine is a good thing if you ask me.

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  • xHDx

    Surely it has to come from the developers mouths to anyone before it’s leaked. So really, the devs should be getting the sack. To me it seems as if he is blaming leakers which aren’t originating from the dev team, when in fact, the information must come out of there first right?

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  • IceKoldKilla

    I see what he means but to be honest in some cases it means putting out information and letting you judge yourself instead of it being marketed to make you think it’s awesome or worthy. Like the Kinect-less Xbox One. If we wait for M$ to announce it, we get their reason as to why and how it’s good while a possible leak could explain the real reason. I don’t think it was the case (I never read the rumors/leak) but I said it to put make an example. Again, I don’t mean it’s the case all the time.

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  • TI_21

    Lol, what a salty idiot.

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  • Mr_Trillionaire

    “Finally someones talkin sense on tha TV!”

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