This is a spoiler free zone.

As you are likely aware by now one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, The Last of Us Part Two, has had its main story plot points leaked online months ahead of release. Reports differ between them being leaked by a game tester or a ‘disgruntled’ ex-employee of developer Naughty Dog, but regardless of this it is a massively disappointing blow for the developers who have been working so hard for years on the game and the fans who can’t wait to get their hands on it.

Naughty Dog have addressed the leak with the below statement.

I can’t imagine the emotional impact and stress this will have caused to Naughty Dog, and swift mob justice will do little to rectify the issue, though would probably help fan outrage a bit.

Having played and not particularly enjoyed some of the first game I decided to read the full synopsis of the leak as there was absolutely no chance that I would ever buy or play the sequel. I have now decided to buy the game.

This is a very similar case to the Pokemon Sword and Shield leaks from last year. Game Freak and The Pokemon Company were doing a woeful job in promoting the new games, the first mainline Pokemon titles for the Nintendo Switch. They appeared completely oblivious to the fact that they were only marketing the boring examples of new Pokemon and introducing features few players could ever care about or use. This is particularly evident with the fact I played Pokemon Shield for more than thirty hours and didn’t once go camping or cook a curry. I’d resigned myself to the idea that I wouldn’t be bothering with the eighth generation of Pokemon games, which was a shame as I’ve played and finished every other main Pokemon game.

That was until the Pokedex and other unannounced new features leaked and circulated like wildfire around the internet. No matter where you went, you were bound to read something about the upcoming games that you wouldn’t want to if planning on going into the experience as blind as possible. I, however, openly sought out every nugget of information and spent hours reading about the new Pokemon, their types, signature moves and evolutions, and everything else in between. What did it matter to me? I wasn’t going to buy the games and didn’t even own the console to play them on, as I didn’t own my Switch at this point.

The leaks, very much like those for The Last of Us Part Two changed my mind completely. After a couple of days dwelling on the fact a Pokemon game I’d previously dismissed could turn out to be great, I bit the bullet and pre-ordered a Switch Lite (the Zacian and Zamazenta version obviously) and Pokemon Shield, which arrived on release day.

The rest as they say is history, and I reviewed Pokemon Shield after completing the story and endgame of it, awarding it a perfect ten out of ten score and also naming it my Game of the Year.

To bring things back to The Last of Us, the leaks should definitely not have happened and I hope there are legal repercussions for whoever is responsible for them. However, I find it doubtful that anyone now won’t buy the game purely because they have read potential story spoilers, as I’ll remind you that not all ‘spoilers’ circulating are real. I’ve read different story plot points that significantly contradict each other, and no matter which of them is real it is annoying for prospective players to know that one of them is highly likely to be true. Leaks are not a progressive part of gaming culture, but they are not without their silver lining.

I went from no intention of playing the new The Last of Us a couple of days ago to now being adamant that I will be, thanks solely to the leak. I am sure there will be others in my position who have had their minds changed regarding their decision to purchase the new game when it finally releases on 19th of June, and I want to hear your viewpoint on this whole situation in the comments or on our Twitter @RespawningUK. Thank you for reading and I will speak to you again soon.