Witcher 3 for Nintendo Switch
The Witcher 3 for Switch was first leaked in the final days of 2018, when a port for the beloved RPG was listed by a French retailer. A second leak, posted to ResetEra, would occur in late May, shortly before Nintendo’s scheduled E3 Direct.
The port would be confirmed during that Direct as The Witcher 3: Complete Edition, bundling the base game with its two expansions and 16 DLC packs.
Pokemon Sword and Shield Info
On May 23, a 4Chan user posted a long list of unannounced Pokemon Sword and Shield details. At the time, it was unclear if it was a legitimate leak. However, as Nintendo continued to reveal official info on Sword and Shield, it became clear the leak was real, and it was massive.
Within that leak was information on Gigantamaxing, the villainous Team Yell, the final legendary Pokemon, regional evolutions (e.g. Farfetch’d and Meowth), the starters’ evolution chains, and much more.
A second leak hit the internet ahead of Sword and Shield’s launch earlier this month, this time spoiling the complete list of gen 8 Pokemon, the complete Galar Pokedex, and details on the post-game.
Watch Dogs Legion
It wouldn’t be a proper list of leaks without an appearance from Ubisoft.
According to the listing, Watch Dogs Legion would allow players to control any NPC in a “near-future, dystopian version of London.” Those details would be confirmed by Ubisoft during Legion’s unveiling at E3.
Elden Ring (and the Rest of Bandai Namco’s E3)
Elden Ring is an exciting collaboration between A Song of Ice & Fire author George R.R. Martin and Dark Souls developer FromSoftware. It’s reveal would have been a massive surprise on Microsoft’s E3 stage… had it not been leaked two days earlier.
The info was supposedly revealed due to a link on publisher Bandai Namco’s website that was prematurely made public. In addition to spoiling Elden Ring’s reveal, the leak outed two other E3 announcements: Tales of Arise and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered for PS4 and PC (plus a Switch port of the original version).
PS5 Dev Kit
On August 20, a patent (and accompanying image) for an “unknown electronic device” from Sony surfaced online, leading to speculation it was the PS5 dev kit.
A day later, the image was seemingly confirmed to be just that. In response to a speculative article, game developer Matthew Stott wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “It’s a dev kit we have some in the office.” Assuming this is Stott’s LinkedIn page, he was a senior artist at Grid developer Codemasters from August 2007 through October 2019, lending credence to his possible confirmation.
Fortnite Chapter 2
It was unclear what direction Fortnite would go upon the conclusion of its tenth season. Then came a leak on the Italian iOS App Store, outing Fortnite Chapter 2 and its new map.
A few days later, a second leak occurred: A Chapter 2 trailer posted to Twitter showed the new map, boats, fishing, and a new progression system. The leaks would be confirmed when Chapter 2 went live the next day, October 15. Two QA testers have since been sued by Epic Games for their alleged roles in the data leaks.
If that weren’t enough, it turns out the entire Fortnite Chapter 2 map leaked in September, but at the time, it was widely believed to be fake.
The long-awaited and -rumored Diablo IV was leaked on October 21, just over a week before its official reveal at BlizzCon 2019.
The announcement was spoiled by an advertisement for a Diablo art book in German gaming magazine GameStar, which touted “over 500 artworks from Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo III and [the then-unannounced] Diablo IV.”
On October 27, ESPN reported Overwatch 2 was real and would be revealed during the following week’s BlizzCon. The information was obtained from a source at the event and corroborated by a leaked training document.
ESPN’s report detailed a sequel that featured a new logo, a new game mode called Push, a new Toronto-based map, and revised hero abilities for PvE — all of which was confirmed when Blizzard announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Battle Royale
An unannounced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare battle royale mode was leaked on November 16. An extensive data mine posted to Reddit by notorious Call of Duty leaker Senescallo detailed a 200-player battle royale set on a massive map with 15 distinct zones.
The mode will purportedly allow for singles, duos, and squad (teams of 4) matches. The leak contains a ton of other details, covering loot, armor, missions, perks, killstreaks, and a unique respawn system that allows players to duke it out 1v1 for a chance to re-enter the fray.
At the time of writing, this is the only leak on our list yet to be confirmed.
How do you feel about leaks? What do you think was the year’s biggest? Let us know in the comments.
Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.