Earlier this week, major pieces of The Last of Us Part 2‘s plot were leaked online. Speculation ran amok about who and why it happened, but today, Sony is clearing up some misconceptions. Video footage showing cutscenes and gameplay including several pivotal plot sequences appeared on YouTube and Reddit over the weekend, and while Sony was quick to move, pulling the offending material citing copyright concerns, the damage was already done.
A Sony representative tells that it has identified the leakers, and that although the company can’t share additional details at this time, it has determined that the source of the leak had no affiliation with either Naughty Dog or the studio’s parent company, Sony Interactive Entertainment:
SIE has identified the primary individuals responsible for the unauthorized release of TLOU2 assets. They are not affiliated with Naughty Dog or SIE. We are unable to comment further because the information is subject to an on-going investigation. We’re looking forward to when The Last of Us Part II will be in your hands and can’t wait for you to enjoy the full experience on June 19.
The leak, which appeared on YouTube earlier than spreading to different social media websites, included a degree listing and pictures that seemed to be from an inner construct. Between that and data of the Santa Monica studio’s history with crunch, many believed that the leak was doubtless in retaliation to the studio, although there was no precise proof that supported this concept.
Now it’s clear that this isn’t the case, and it seems like more than one person was involved based on Sony’s statement, which refers to the guilty party as “individuals.” It’s not clear whether we’ll ever find out who these people are, or how they seemed to have gotten their hands on what looks like an internal Naughty Dog build. There’s also no word yet on what sort of legal ramifications these “individuals” will face, but considering there’s now an army of jerks spamming Twitch chats and livestreams with The Last of Us 2 spoilers, I sincerely hope justice is served piping hot.
Many took the The Last of Us Part 2 leak as the final straw for game companies to change their work culture, but even now that we know it wasn’t a disgruntled Naughty Dog employee who did it, it’s still paramount for the games industry to rethink how it treats its employees. Rockstar Games is contemplating shipping big games in episodic parts, which could be a viable solution for Naughty Dog’s heavily narrative titles.
The Last of Us Part 2 is now scheduled for release on June 19.