A Twitter account named TheRealInsider that posted leaks for upcoming game releases turned out to be a sockpuppet account belonging to YouTuber DanAllenGaming, a content creator with nearly 200,000 followers.
First spotted by TheGamer, the story that follows requires a peek behind the curtain of games media.
Content creators (and press, like yours truly) often gain early access to games coming out in the near future, or announcements scheduled to be made.
This allows the media time to get articles ready and get coverage flowing, which in turn helps boost awareness, and potentially sales, of the game.
This sort of relationship relies on one thing primarily: an NDA, or nondisclosure agreement, which is also called an embargo.
NDAs are typically for repeated access to alphas or betas, where media are invited to test a game out and give feedback, but also can be used for more immediate coverage of an upcoming game or announcement.
This allows the developer to control when information is released, while still giving media time to prepare their content.
Dan Allen Gaming, posing as “TheRealInsider”, took that early access privilege and started leaking information well in advance of embargo and NDA break-dates.
Earlier this month, he started going viral on TheRealInsider for breaking coverage of the Assassin’s Creed games well before the official announcements were made.
He got caught, however, when he slipped up and posted a response to TheRealInsider using his DanAllenGaming Twitter account.
The tweet had been deleted, but Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier did some digging and found that often the two accounts would tweet nearly simultaneously about the same topics, along with using similar posting patterns.
Admitting to it all, Dan Allen apologized via Twitter and shortly afterwards disabled both accounts.
His YouTube, however, remains active at time of publishing. The ramifications of breaking NDAs are quite serious — at best, content creators and media that break NDAs simply lose access to future coverage, and at worst, can be sued by companies for breaking embargo dates.