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Definition Of Irony: Deus Ex Leak Spawns Conspiracy Theories

from the the-truth-is-out-there dept

If you don't know the story of the Deus Ex franchise, it's a good one. The original game wove a cyberpunk conspiracy thriller action game that was as critically acclaimed as it was wildly successful. That wild success spawned a wildly lame sequel that disappointed fans of the franchise. But those fans were pleased to learn that another sequel would be coming out this summer, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There was some speculation as to whether Eidos Montreal could finally put out a worthy sequel to the original, but anticipation mounted.

You know what happened next, because it happens all the time. An early build of the game leaked onto torrent sites. The only thing stranger than the company's reaction to all this is the story of how it happened. First, let's get the legal nonsense out of the way.

According to The Escapist, the publisher sued fifteen "John Does" for accessing the build and leaking it to the public Square Enix was displeased, lamenting (and I swear to you I'm not making this up) the estimated loss of $5,000 whole dollars! So they're bringing suit against unnamed defendents, paying whatever associated legal costs are required for such an endeavor. I'm struggling with the obvious question: why? For $5,000? What's a UK lawyer cost these days?

Interestingly, there was some question about how this whole thing happened and whether or not Square Enix had something to do with the leak. The official story is that a group of bad guys, real revolutionary types, somehow faked Italian journalist credentials to get the early build from Steam. Then, after much smokey back room discussion, uploaded the leak to torrent sites. There was some initial speculation that Square Enix may have leaked this themselves, due to what appears to be consensus that this leak helped the title in marketing and pre-sales, since fears of an unworthy sequel were laid to rest. But most are taking the lawsuit brought before the UK court over the lost $5,000 as evidence that they didn't (because such a suit makes so much more sense?).

As a side note, minus the mucking up of the legal system for all this garbage, how cool would it have been if Square did manufacture this leak and get creative with the story of how it fictionally happened? What if they got the benefit of this leak (laying fears of a crappy game to rest) while simultaneously building even more hype around the game through fictional conspiratorial intrigue? They could have mocked up interviews with internet cafe owners claiming that MiBs came in and used their property to pull off this "heist". They could have taken their cues from the movie The Fourth Kind and created fictional accounts all across the web that I can promise you Deus Ex fans would have absolutely eaten up.

Instead, we have a story about a couple of folks downloading it via Steam and a lawsuit from a video game mega-publisher claiming damages of an amount less than it would cost one of their execs to go on a European vacation.

So you tell me which is crazier, the tale of Illuminati dominance and conspiratorial intrigue woven into the Deus Ex mythos, or a company bringing legal action to court over five thousand whole dollars?
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Filed Under: conspiracies, deus ex, leaks


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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    It absolutely doesn't...

    I've been talking about this with a lot of people but they refuse to look at all of the information about Square and what they're doing, instead saying it's "haters hating".

    Let's review the bad info on Square:

    1) They will shut down fan based games based on their material, even if the story is original and at best it's a derivative work (Crimson Echoes and Crono Resurrection)

    2)They will sue to maintain a strong position, even theough they are the weakest financially. *Based on their own Q2 Earnings, where the earthquake/tsunami hurt them severely.

    3) Even though the true fans *still* want to buy the game, Square is splitting the fanbase into those that want them to sue, and those that do not.

    I used to enjoy the Square games because they were the best games out there. The games were decently original and linear, but they were fun. As I grew up, the games became less about having fun, more about filling Square's profit margin for the quarter.

    You can look at how Square has massive layoffs of employees after each major game is made, how their newest Final Fantasy (14?) was dead panned as an MMO, or a number of signs that tell you that Square is a very weak company that cannot sustain itself.

    It's sad to see Eidos get caught up in this, but I'm boycotting Square based on these details.

    If the best thing that Square can do is pay for lawyers instead of paying to make a game fun, it's not worth it for me.

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