So that was spoilers week

Spoilers have been in the news a fair amount this week, one way and another.

First off was Kotaku printing some leaked spoilers (no spoilers in this link btw, it’s a story about them with links for those who are interested) for the storyline of the forthcoming Modern Warfare 3. This also inadvertently leaked the fact that MW3 existed, which was duly announced officially a couple of days later.

I can’t really think that anyone felt that knowing MW3 existed was a spoiler, unless you think it spoiled the effect of the official announcement (which probably involves everyone pretending that it was a surprise). What I do wonder is how many people who are celebrating Infinity Ward’s next shot at the franchise know or remember that many of the big shots from that studio no longer work there.

In news over here, Steven Moffat (the show runner) complained publically about fans leaking the plot of the first two episodes of this season of Doctor Who. The Times responded magnanimously by leaking the plot of this week’s episode.

Other notable recent leaks include The Avengers script, and a leak of the Diablo 3 followers video (that Blizzard covered fairly neatly by doing their own reveal shortly afterwards.)

In today’s ever-more-connected world, it’s increasingly difficult to avoid spoilers, but evidently this isn’t helped by people actually leaking advance information. You can understand the news sites motivations – nothing like a good leak to get eyeballs on webpages. And it only needs one of your friends to read the spoilers and decide to pass them on to make it irrelevant as to whether you clicked the link yourself or not.

I’m sure both game devs and programme makers don’t have massive issues with spoilers being issued after the game is released or the programme is aired. It still affects players/ viewers but it also props up the PR, and encourages them to play/watch the item as soon as possible – a tricky proposition if you happen to be in the wrong timezone. And whilst this may lead to pirating, you can assume that the real fans will buy the thing anyway when they get the chance, at some point.

But there’s also no doubt that you’ll have a very different experience watching something with a twist in the tale if you don’t know what’s coming than if you do. However commercially clever it is to spoil a piece, it’s pretty much never in the players’ best interests. And if you print spoilers, you may lose the chance to see people’s genuine responses to the forthcoming surprise …

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5 thoughts on “So that was spoilers week

  1. Regarding the TV show “Game of Thrones”: I already knew in 1996 what has not yet happened in 2011. Yeah, the books for the series started some 15 years ago.

    While I try not to violate the feelings of those new to the show intentionally I fear they must toughen up in this regard.

    But leaks like that with commercial interest in mind are an entirely different beast. I wonder how much longer it will take till punitive laws will be approved that deal with the issue.

    • Oh yes, that reminds me. The other reason this week has been particularly spoilery is because of people breaking court imposed injunctions by tweeting about the people involved.

      I don’t really think it’s possible any more to prevent people from doing this via social networking. And because of the commercial aspect, there will be decent money on offer for good leaks. That cat is now out of the box.

      I figure just try to hang out with people online who’ll respect spoilers and your desire to enjoy content spoiler-free. And if you don’t agree with media outlets who profit from spoilering, don’t patronise them.

      • Who actually are the people who took out the super-injunctions? I heard about Andrew Marr but the rest have just passed me by.

        Also: there was a 1hr 30min TOR video posted on the MMORPG.com forums that may or may not still be up (suffice to say, if you go looking on the TOR general board at MMORPG.com there probably will be a thread about the vid.) And when I say video I don’t mean glossed-up, PR crap. I mean it was just some guy who recorded himself playing from levels 8-9 in the beta.

        And you know what? That, far more than all the shitty PR, convinced to pre-order a TOR CE when it’s released. The game looked great, amazing and graphics-wise, and the voice acting was better than I thought it would be considering how immersion-breaking it was in DA:O.

        I just can’t wait to play TOR now ><

  2. Did you catch the LA Noire review that the Guardian posted(breaking the embargo)? It was pulled fairly quickly but google cache still has it.

    OK not a spoiler par-se but close…

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