Thoughts on Shane, Sifted and the CyberPunk 2077 audio "leak"



  • I went lurking a little bit and I didn't see any conversation about this and considering that Shane was running the GT crew back in the day I'm curious what they and you people here may think about the situation.

    For those of you who don't know, here's the short version. Shane Satterfield used to run Gametrailers, he's since left GT before the layoffs and started his own site called Sifted.net At E32018 He was invited to the behind closed doors session of CyberPunk 2077 and recorded audio of the entire play through. He asked fans on his podcast what he should do with the recording and ultimately decided to release it on their YouTube channel. This upset CDProjektRed and they filed a claim which ultimately caused a strike against Shane's YouTube Channel. The recording was ripped and went all over the internet (as is the case) and Shane discussed it on his podcast which you can listen to on his channel. I would post a link but I don't know the rules about that.

    There's been discussion about how he handled it, some say he's in the right and some say very poorly. Was wondering where you guys sit on the matter. I posted this in "gaming discussion" due to CyberPunk but please let me know if this needs to be moved.



  • @antifanboydevon said:

    He was invited to the behind closed doors session of CyberPunk 2077 and recorded audio of the entire play through.
    This upset CDProjektRed and they filed a claim which ultimately caused a strike against Shane's YouTube Channel.

    This is exactly what should have happened and helps discourage others from doing similarly. If you're invited behind closed doors for a demo not meant for the public, then obviously that dev doesn't want you releasing any form of that demo to the public. It is common sense, and sorry, not sorry they deserve the consequences of their actions.



  • Regardless of who is involved CD Project is on the right punishing someone that violated the agreements of their presentation, there's no discussion there.

    Specifically for Shane, I didn't even know this involved him, I never liked him so I don't follow him at all but I knew that this had happened, I just guessed it was some random youtuber, knowing that it is a veteran of the industry I can only say it is unbelievably stupid from his part, and again he'll have to deal with the consequences of his clearly incorrect actions.



  • I've looked into it very little but from the bit I've read, apparently CDProjektRed was explicit with no pictures or video, so Shane tried to justify his actions by saying it was just audio. Dumb and frankly scummy move to try to "break" a story.



  • Just finished listening to Shane's bit from Gameface, apparently one of SIFTD's podcast. In it he discusses what happened, and i have to say: That is one unapologetic person, he seems more disappointed that SIFTD isn't getting credit for the "scoop" than for breaking the trust of CDPR. Now in the podcast he reveals that there was no NDA signed, other people saw him recording with his phone, CDPR people saw him recording and no one said a thing, so for him this was entirely a justifiable thing to do and he doesn't understand why no one else was doing it, saying that "...As a journalist, [this] is what he is trained to do." He states that as a journalist " You have to work to maximize the assets you are afforded, too create news or things that people want to read or watch" and seems blown away that no one else had "the foresight to do it." He states that CDPR sent him an email saying that they screwed up and the situation is partially their fault. He goes on to say that there's not much left of true journalism i.e. going out and finding a story and breaking that story to the public, most site's are handed pieces of news and told to break the story at this date. He points out specifically Kotaku and Waypoint as 2 sites that are still legitimately "breaking" stories."

    Now, I am not a journalist and know very little about Journalism nor have i been to E3 so i am also unaware of how things work on that end however, This was a CLOSED DOOR session. I have to believe there is some unspoken rule here, CDPR obviously didn't want anything shared from this meeting otherwise they would have released the footage themselves. Shane states that "...[He] was never told he couldn't record anything" which ,okay, is an oversight from CDPR but still that's like saying "since no one said i can't touch ever item on the buffet, it's perfectly fine if i do." Maybe but still there's a social contract here that says "hey, maybe not do that." I'll leave the legality of this situation up to Hoeg (someone wanna toss this to his youtube?) but for myself this was a massive betrayal of trust and the fact the he doesn't get that, that he remains unapologetic about "Doing his job" is honestly a little sickening and strikes me as a little slimy for a journalist. Sorta like those Paparazzi outside a celebrities funeral trying to get pictures of grieving family members, their just doing their jobs but its also gross.

    I'd wouldn't be surprised if, after this, CDPR starts having people empty their pockets or does start doing small NDA's before closed door sessions. At the very least I'd be willing to bet that publishers are gonna be a little wary of Shane and SIFTD. But he has made it clear that he doesn't care, he was in the right, the fact that his site didn't get credit for the "scoop" is criminal, and every other journalist who is giving him flak is just pathetic and jealous they didn't think to do it while he did.

    Side-note: Maybe the fact that you were in a room with other journalist and you were the only one recording should have been a clue, Shane. Just, Maybe?

    L and R, Allies



  • I listened to Shane's side of the story, and took what I could from CDPR's. Going off of what @zrail said, there was supposedly no NDA's and he was the only recording. I don't think making character judgments means anything in this situation. But it is an interesting scenario.

    I think it was an accident on both entities parts. Alternatively, the public got a piece of news that they never would have received otherwise. That part of it makes me miss the older days of games journalism when journalists were probing for news. For example, we aren't really going to get any more information about RDR 2 or Spiderman until someone plays it on stream. Those games are coming out so soon.

    I'm not trying to wax nostalgic, but if this was 2010 or 2012 we would have way more information to compare our desires with what comes out, and thus we would command more purchasing power. Maybe what he did was wrong, but it would be nice to have more information about most games before we buy them on day one.


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    I think it was a seriously crappy thing to do and one he will end up regretting.

    The thing that's so silly to me about this is the attitude of "this is what I was trained to do". That is such nonsense. On top of that, what story did he actually leak? Oh great, audio of a presentation which practically every single media outlet gave impressions of. It wasn't some huge scoop about development issues, etc. It was just the audio from the presentation. If that's what the standard is for a breaking news story, that's honestly not very interesting.

    And as far as I'm concerned, breaking the news of a new Assassin's Creed or whatever isn't even that interesting either. It's the stuff we've absolutely no idea of or actually interesting pieces/postmortems that are actually gaming journalism. This is just tabloid stuff.



  • I'm against the anti consumer practice of journo only showings (and was surprised to hear they still happen sometimes these days), so I support everyone who leaks these to the people who actually going to buy the product and I wish someone would have recorded actual footage. Now, since this is their material CDPR has of course the right to file a copyright claim, regardless how anti consumer it is to do so.



  • @crepe said:

    For example, we aren't really going to get any more information about RDR 2 or Spiderman until someone plays it on stream. Those games are coming out so soon.

    RDR 2 sure, but Spiderman was playable at E3, so there should be plenty of footage for that around. It isn't like TLOU 2 where all we saw was a heavily staged and calculated playthrough.

    Maybe what he did was wrong, but it would be nice to have more information about most games before we buy them on day one.

    This game is also YEARS OFF, and they most likely had it behind closed doors, because it was an early demo not representative of the final product that they didn't want the general public to analyze and pick apart the flaws that might be fixed by the time there's a demo to show the public when it is closer to release.

    @tokeeffe9 said:

    It's the stuff we've absolutely no idea of or actually interesting pieces/postmortems that are actually gaming journalism. This is just tabloid stuff.

    And yet most of that these days is done through leaks, which is also tabloid stuff.

    @musou-tensei said:

    I'm against the anti consumer practice of journo only showings (and was surprised to hear they still happen sometimes these days)

    I'm okay with it when the game being shown is a very active 2+ years off project, and this allows the devs to show it at E3 without having to crunch to overpolish a sequence meant for demo purposes, versus wasting more development time that delays the game's release even later so the section is analysis proof for the public.


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    @mbun I'd honestly be totally fine if we never got another leak of a game reveal again.



  • Just saw Shane's video on the matter, I seriously don't understand how he has a paying audience and playing himself as the victim in this is just pathetic.



  • Pretty much agree here that Shane had a "brain fart" concerning this audio "leak" disaster. I remember hearing him talk about this on his podcast and thinking "that doesn't seem like it will go over well." Then forgot about it. Few weeks later I came across the news and was not surprised.

    It's journalism at it's most shaky. In the MMA world there is a journalist named Josh Gross, he among others, would follow the sport and in particular a reality TV show called "The Ultimate Fighter" where every week the fighters would face off and as the weeks go, the two finalists would be revealed. Josh had sources that told him who the finalists were and he released that information. Problem being is that the season either hadn't aired yet or was only a few weeks in. He was trashed by UFC President Dana White and his press credentials were pulled and I believe he is still to this day banned from press events involving the UFC. Josh's defense was, that is was his "journalistic duty" to release the info even though other press members had this information and sat on it. There is still some debate about this but it came across as greedy and just as a way to get a "scoop" even though it benefited no one but himself and the site he worked for.

    This reminds me of Shane's situation. He lambastes other journalists for being "shills" and "lemmings" for not doing what he did or even having the foresight to record the audio like he did. It comes across as "you're just mad because I thought of it first". Shane's idea isn't original, it's just most people didn't think that would benefit them anyway and it's certainly not getting the "news" out there. It's audio that does nothing for anyone but Shane and his site, which he admits to. He plays the victim card, but bemoans how he's just smarter then everyone else and what he did wasn't wrong. He want's to be both smart but ignorant to how this could have happened to poor him and his small site Sifted. He wants to come across as a vet in the industry but also small and desperate.

    He's always had a contentious personality and it's hard to find sympathy for the guy when it comes to his professional life.



  • @crepe said in Thoughts on Shane, Sifted and the CyberPunk 2077 audio "leak":

    I'm not trying to wax nostalgic, but if this was 2010 or 2012 we would have way more information to compare our desires with what comes out, and thus we would command more purchasing power. Maybe what he did was wrong, but it would be nice to have more information about most games before we buy them on day one.

    I don't think this is a fair comparison. There's still no release date and based off past history CDPR is probably wary considering the flak they got with the Witcher 3. We will 10000% have more information before day one.


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    One of the greatest ethical debates as a journalist is what to do with privileged information, ie information that is told to you in confidence with a expectation that it won't necessarily be used by the journalist.

    Shane's not wrong when he says "I'm trained to do this!" because as a journalist you are never truly obligated to keep things off the record (even an NDA), but you should carefully weigh the consequences of breaking people's trust in you in the name of telling a story or disseminating information.

    The procedural step of not requiring NDAs to spell out how the story and information presented was to be spread, is generally a sign of good faith. And in that same good faith, I don't think it's unreasonable for Shane to have recorded audio of the presentation. If someone is talking for 30 minutes about this and that it's easy to lose potentially important specific details, and a recording can help someone tell a better and more accurate story than just one's initial personal and subjective feelings.

    That said I personally think Shane made a mistake listening to the internet and releasing the recording in the manner he did. While other outlets did cover it, part of the appeal of individual outlets is hearing and reading their unique voice cover it. Hell as an example it's why a lot of people like Easy Allies, since they have a unique voice among many possible gaming channels and outlets.

    Going in for a scoop can be low hanging fruit (Kotaku practically built itself on being a scoop machine), and as a tactic it can reap rewards. Breaking this info out into the wild has indeed made Shane and gameface/SIFTD rise up in the cultural consciousness, and they did in fact tell a different story than other outlets.

    At the end of it all though, I just don't think the raw audio of a gameplay presentation was worth the conversation it's generating, both in terms of information and in blowback.



  • Shane is just upset that siftd hasn't taken off and probably thought this would have helped.



  • @mbun Why show it it all then?



  • @musou-tensei To build anticipation for your big project and to have something to backup the CG Trailer you show at the Press Conference so people understand that "it is real".



  • He's a member of the press and it a behind closed doors event, what else was he expecting?



  • @ochi said in Thoughts on Shane, Sifted and the CyberPunk 2077 audio "leak":

    That said I personally think Shane made a mistake listening to the internet and releasing the recording in the manner he did.

    I totally forgot that's how it happened. Really good point.



  • @crepe said in Thoughts on Shane, Sifted and the CyberPunk 2077 audio "leak":

    @ochi said in Thoughts on Shane, Sifted and the CyberPunk 2077 audio "leak":

    That said I personally think Shane made a mistake listening to the internet and releasing the recording in the manner he did.

    I totally forgot that's how it happened. Really good point.

    But we can’t use that as an excuse. We and especially he, cant say that he is both a vet of the industry but someone who gave into peer pressure. Not saying this is Shane’s excuse but I warn against that line of thinking.