E3 Leaked Press Conference

Future SmallThere is no value in leaking information from an E3 press conference.

This is knowledge companies are planning on announcing to fans in less than a week. These aren’t secret documents of how companies are endangering citizens, nor are they years of undercover research unveiling corruption in our government. These leaks aren’t even a trade secret that shed light on the industry. Leaks are literally information that the company was planning on releasing anyway.

The consumer gains no advantage by knowing this information earlier.

To the companies involved leaks ruin the impact of the show and reduce the effectiveness of their press strategy. These are plans that hundreds of people could have been coordinating for years to unveil the project of their lifetimes ruined with a single screen-grab from someone seeking 15 minutes of fame.

To fans the leak ruins the surprise. E3 is already a trade show which showcases the hottest games 3 – 4 years from now…by seeing a random headline a week early as opposed to the reveal during the conference the joy is lost.

I love FFVII more than Shenmue and always will, yet I was more excited about the stealth announcement of Shenmue III during E3 2015 than the FFVII remake because it was spoiled in a tweet earlier that day.

breaking-news1Investigative journalism has a place, though it’s rarely practiced. The constant barrage of leaked stories don’t. The team members involved in telling their press friends advanced knowledge should be fired for corporate espionage. The vendors, third-parties and fans lucky enough for a sneak peak who want to become an unnamed source should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of their NDA.

The bloggers at sites large and small who turn this confidential information into a story should think twice before publishing the story. They are here to report the news as it happens, offer advice and steer people into the right purchasing decision. These stories will still be news when they are planned to be announced – releasing them early only hurts the fan, the companies who they partner with and runs the risk of weakening their site’s reputation if proven false.

On the flip side, there are lots of conspiracy theories of “planned leaks” and “accident revels” as a tool in the marketing strategy lately and this is all going to plan.

What do you think? Do you love knowing information from a website 30 minutes earlier than the planned press conference? Do you think sources are the most honest fans by betraying their companies?

Level Up, Friends!