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



  • 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.


  • Global Moderator

    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.



  • Tricky situation. I understand that he wasn’t told not to do that, but recording audio of a gameplay demo isn’t really profound, it’s just kinda cheesy.

    Like if he figured he wasn’t doing something wrong, then why not just record the whole thing on video? It’s not news breaking when everybody else has enough sense to not record and you are the only person dense enough to test your luck.

    It’s annoying cause I’ve been to early access film events and stuff and they make you take your bags off, keep your phone in your bag, etc etc and you wonder, who is going to record the kids movie Coco at an industry early screening event, then you read stuff like this and realize that people will push their luck.



  • Wait he didn't sign an NDA? Why is this bad then? Like, no one in a few years when the game actually comes out will think "Oh this looks cool... wait I remember when audio of this game leaked a few years ago, nah not buying this", leaking this did no harm to the game, the demo should have been shown to the public in the 1st place.
    I have to accuse CDPR for bribing journos with this exclusive showing of an anticipated game for favorable coverage (and if they think that's necessary, it doesn't really speaks well for the game). If you can show it to journos, you can show it to everyone.



  • @musou-tensei

    I think it goes two ways. Not to bolster academia or anyone's "credentials" but the general public is pretty inept in using proper language and descriptive words to accurately portray a product or experience. YouTube is a total mess of hyperbolic "reporting" and most of the time I find the professional journalists to be able to articulate themselves so much better than the rinky dink websites or YouTubers.

    With that said, everybody else is going towards a public first approach and these media only events are slowly dying off. I see both sides. But I don't think having a closed doors demo is bribing.



  • I heard about this today. I watched his response video and he came across as a real douchenozzle.



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

    Wait he didn't sign an NDA? Why is this bad then? Like, no one in a few years when the game actually comes out will think "Oh this looks cool... wait I remember when audio of this game leaked a few years ago, nah not buying this", leaking this did no harm to the game, the demo should have been shown to the public in the 1st place.

    Of course no one signed an NDA, we got impressions of the demo. It’s bad because he’s just taking advantage of a situation trying to get some clicks. Everyone was asked not to record the demo, as an industry vet, you’d think he’d be aware of how a presentation like that works.
    And honestly, it’s not really a bad thing for us, it’s just a dumb thing for Shane. He’ll probably be blacklisted by the majority of the industry now. Whatever good faith he had with developers, he’s lost that now.

    I have to accuse CDPR for bribing journos with this exclusive showing of an anticipated game for favorable coverage (and if they think that's necessary, it doesn't really speaks well for the game).

    This makes absolutely no sense. Bribing journalists… my understanding is anyone at E3 could go and check out that demonstration. Clearly CDPR doesn’t feel like it is in a state to show to the public and I think that’s totally fair. Everyone still points to that Witcher demo and comparing it to the final product. Why would you show that to the public again, so early, just so they can scrutinize it and call you out on it later. The public doesn’t understand that things change, optimization is a thing that happens.

    If you can show it to journos, you can show it to everyone.

    The Days Gone coverage that Game Informer had the other month actually shows that isn’t the case at all. All the raw footage was down as pre beta or alpha and most people commented on animations, technical aspects of the game and frame rate… all things which the general user just isn’t used to seeing. This is why you show it to journalists who actually see games in this state quite often and at least have some idea of how worried someone could be on a game build before release.



  • @tokeeffe9

    I agree with you. The public has time and again established that they do not understand how the internal structure of development works. I've experienced this from the inside as well.


  • Banned

    @musou-tensei Yeah, a dozen pollacks in a tent bribed the entire industry to gush about their game with potato vodka and sausages.



  • @musou-tensei
    Might want to take a second and look up the audio, at the very start clear as day they are told "No Recording of any kind"
    Youtube Video



  • @el-shmiablo Wait... I thought I'm supposed to be the bigot here?

    @DMCMaster Like I said CDPR is absolutely in the right to copyright strike his uploads.


  • Global Moderator

    This seem like a grey area - if there arent a NDA. However, when its behind closed doors I would say that there would be somekind of unwritten rule that it remains "hidden" unless the developer/publisher goes out and openly says "its ok to post". Just putting it out there are, at least in my eyes a kinda dick move. I understand that he is a journalist and he needs stories to survive and do his job. Yet I find this wrong, just as much as I hate normal leaks, let the developer show off their game when its ready. They have worked hard on it for a long time.


  • Banned

    @musou-tensei I'm polish.