Video clips of unreleased scenes of the hotly-anticipated sequel were uploaded onto YouTube by an anonymous leaker and spread like wildfire on Sunday night, April 26, 2020.
The person responsible for this disclosure was reportedly a “disgruntled Naughty Dog,” according to a report by GamesIndustry.biz.
But the person responsible was actually not affiliated with Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment, according to a statement Sony issued to the press Friday.
“[Sony Interactive Entertainment] 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.”
Catch up with our previous The Last of Us Part 2 stories:
- Devastating The Last of Us Part 2 leaks spoil several major Ellie twists
- Everything you need to know about Abby in The Last of Us Part 2
- New Last of Us Part 2 release date leak seems suspicious, but it might be true
- Huge The Last of Us Part 2 leak seemingly prompts release date announcement
Leading up to this discovery, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier tweeted that he suspected the leaker was not a Naughty Dog or a Sony Interactive Entertainment employee.
“Folks I've talked to at Naughty Dog believe that the leaker wasn't actually an employee, though I haven't seen any proof yet," he observed on Thursday. "If I find out for sure where the TLOU2 leak came from, I'll share it."
The Inverse Analysis — Before Friday's announcement by Sony, gamers, developers, and journalists alike suspected that the TLOU2 leak was done out of protest of Naughty Dog's so-called "crunch culture" of long hours.
When major video games from so-called "AAA studios" are about to launch, many pressure their developers to work extra hours, or over the weekend. Some employees from major companies have reported working "100-hour weeks."
Many took the TLOU2 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.