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‘The Last Of Us Part II’ Leak Not an Inside Job?

  • The initial belief was that the leak came from an inside source.
  • However, Sony now claims it has identified “individuals” outside of Naughty Dog and Sony as the source.
  • With allegations mounting, the truth is murkier than mud-filled waters.

In 1937, the phrase “Oh the humanity!” was born out of the reaction of reporter Herbert Morrison as he witnessed the destruction of the Hindenburg lead to flame-filled skies and the loss of several dozen lives. Fans of The Last Of Us have been crying out across the internet in a similar anguish in the wake of major plot leaks for The Last Of Us Part II last week, as the internet is filled with its own figurative firestorm. Those who have seen the leaks stand incredibly divided on the direction of the plot and choices made by Naughty Dog during development, but more divided still is the opinion on the leaker (or leakers) themselves.

When the story first broke, the initial narrative was that the leak came from an inside source. Everything from pay disputes to working conditions was being tossed around back and forth about why someone would risk not only their careers but legal ramifications has come out since. However, Sony is now saying that’s not the case. In a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has stated the following:

“SIE has identified the primary individuals responsible for the unauthorized release of TLOU2 assets. They are not affiliated with Naughty Dog or SIE.”

Sony would also state that the investigation is still ongoing and no further information is available at this time. Feedback across social media takes this revelation with a grain of salt, speculation abound that this is a form of damage control to divert attention away. Whether it’s diversionary or reality is yet to be seen, however this new layer to the narrative brings with it its own set of concerns.

If this is truly from an outside source, then that means that one of Sony’s most anticipated exclusives this generation wasn’t under an intense lockdown. For Naughty Dog and Sony both, The Last Of Us Part II has been touted as the cherry-on-top for a successful console generation, a title so incredibly anticipated that the hype train has been going long before its initial reveal in 2016 when the sequel was but whispers on the wind. That means that yet again a major company has been compromised either due to negligence or inferior forms of protection. If the leak isn’t a story of employee or contractor revenge, but a hacker or hackers from the outside, then I don’t think that is the saving-face that Sony and Naughty Dog would hope it would be.

Backtracking, looking towards those skeptical of Sony’s statement, lets say it was a Naughty Dog employee or a contractor that was the source of the leak. Why? It’s important to note the laundry list of allegations against Naughty Dog as a developer in terms of employee relations. From allegations of unfair compensation to long-debated schedules of crunch time in their games that it burns out frontline staff. Rumors of employees being scared to voice their opinions abound, and so much more. Has the fame gone to Naughty Dog’s head? Has a once-beloved studio become an environment cultivating animosity among the ranks? 

So many questions, so many scenarios, and regardless of the truth at the end of it all the fact remains that The Last Of Us II has been damaged, possibly beyond repair, weeks before it’s June 19th launch. What do our readers feel about this development? Do you believe Sony has found the leaks came from an outside source? Do you think it’s damage control? If you were looking forward to The Last Of Us Part II and have been exposed to the leaks, how have they affected your hype for the title? Let us know down below.