There’s always one guy that makes everything harder for the rest of us, and today, that guy is Dan Allen, a YouTuber who recently exposed himself as an anonymous gaming industry leaker, The Real Insider.
The Real Insider has been posting inside information about a lot of projects over time, most recently the contents of Ubisoft’s then-upcoming Ubisoft Forward showcase, but it turns out that was possible because it was simply Allen being given access by the companies themselves, and then promptly breaking the embargoes he was given by writing anonymously through his Real Insider account.
Allen exposed himself by replying to a follower from the wrong account, his personal one, which led none other than Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier down a rabbit hole finding a whole bunch of suspicious times where Allen and The Real Insider has posted similar information or opinions.
But there’s no need for speculation. Dan Allen admitted he was The Real Insider, deleting that account and posting an apology:
(Update: Dan Allen has now deleted his personal Twitter and the resulting apology)
What happens from here is unclear, as there’s a difference between breaking an embargo you agreed to overall, and breaking something more legally binding like a signed NDA, which he may have done at least in the case of the Ubisoft Forward showcase when he was shown all that information early. It’s entirely possible that now that he’s revealed himself, legal action could be taken against him for flagrantly breaking NDAs for… reasons?
That’s the other question here, as to why Allen did this in the first place. The Real Insider does not appear to have been making money from these leaks, and it seems this was all just for internet clout, being able to run a big “insider” account. Allen did have 189,000 subscribers on YouTube (which I now expect to drop) which is how he was allowed access to a lot of this content in the first place, but clout can be a weirdly powerful motivator. And judgment clouder.
There are various levels of “leaking” in the gaming industry. Break an embargo by accident and you may get a warning. Break them multiple times or on purpose and you’ll get blacklisted. The far end of the spectrum is actual hacking and corporate theft, like we just saw from the GTA 6 leaks. But Dan Allen lies somewhere in the middle, running an anonymous account to share embargoed and NDA-protected information. Blacklisting is inevitable, but it’s those potential NDAs he broke that could cause him serious problems in an industry increasingly fed up with leaks and insider info getting out. We will see what happens next in this saga, and no doubt this will cause some publishers to trust YouTubers on the whole a bit less from here, which unfairly punishes those playing by the rules.
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