The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is a trade show that for two decades has given video game companies a platform to unveil their upcoming projects. There’s always an air of expectation for gamers who annually hold their breath to see what new digital delights will be served up in the year ahead.
On Wednesday, Walmart Canada apparently leaked the names of numerous games that could plausibly be making an appearance at this year’s E3 in June, seemingly spoiling the surprise for everybody. Video game nerds ‘round the internet have been having a freakout ever since.
When Motherboard reached Walmart Canada for comment, however, a spokesperson said that the titles are “speculative.”
“Walmart experienced a technical glitch that allowed certain items to be posted to our website for a short period of time,” Anika Malik, director of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, told Motherboard in an email. “The items posted were speculative in nature and only game publishers can confirm the announcement of a release. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Like the gaming community, Walmart looks forward with anticipation to those announcements.”
This response seems to imply that Walmart Canada has no special knowledge of which games will be announced at E3, or at least that the “leaked” titles don’t reflect any special knowledge. In response to the apparent leak—which included Rage 2, a totally unexpected sequel to id Software’s 2011 shooter Rage—Pete Hines, senior vice president of communications for Bethesda, Rage’s publisher, tweeted, “This is why we can’t have nice things.” The video games press took a telling non-denial of Rage 2 appearing at E3.
Motherboard reached out to Bethesda but hasn’t received a response.
The titles included in Walmart Canada’s apparent non-leak were mostly sequels or reboots of old franchises: Gears of War 5, Just Cause 4, Borderlands 3, yet another Assassin’s Creed sequel, The Division 2, a reboot of the Splinter Cell series, the list goes on. Some of these inclusions struck the gaming community as odd, and it could be because they’re just guesses on Walmart’s part, and sequels to big franchises can usually be counted on year after year. And also, Walmart maybe just screwed up.
Or not, who knows?
At any rate, leaks are undoubtedly a major headache for developers who pour their lives into creating games, often under extreme working conditions, even if it’s to churn out yet another sequel in a well-trod franchise.
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