Streamer Dan Allen, who was revealed yesterday as the person behind “The Real Insider” (opens in a new tab) Twitter account that leaked (among other things) Ubisoft’s big Assassin’s Creed presentation (opens in a new tab)apologized for his actions in a new video posted on YouTube, saying he did it all for influence and “fuss”.
“I’m ashamed of that. It was pathetic and just dishonest,” Allen said in the video. “Many of you are coming [out] and saying, ‘Why the hell did you do it?’ To be honest, it’s clout, it’s the buzz, it’s being addicted to the excitement of thousands of people waiting for what you’re going to say.”
When he wasn’t posting leaks, Allen ran the Dan Allen Gaming channel on YouTube, which features a wide variety of gaming content, including guides, tutorials, and interviews, and currently has nearly 200,000 subscribers. His regular broadcast job may not have offered the momentary thrill he felt revealing top secrets before everyone else in the world, but on the other hand, he’s also far less likely to be sued as a result. .
Speaking of which, Allen claimed in his apology that many of his leaks, like the ones involving Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid, didn’t violate the NDA because they were mostly made up.
“Nonsense. Second-hand comments. Half the posts were guesswork,” Allen said. “For example, I put a picture of Kratos just before the [Sony] State of the situation. It was an educated guess due to the fact that [Kratos voice actor] Christopher Judge had retweeted the state of play, so I thought he’d be there. It was.”
Allen may be looking to downplay the NDA violations involved with his leaks due to the possible consequences that could arise from them. Public embarrassment isn’t fun, but neither is being dragged into court for breaking legally binding contracts. And Ubisoft’s NDAs are no joke. As an example, part of a May 2022 Rainbow Six Siege NDA received by PC Gamer states the following:
“The Parties acknowledge that any breach [of confidentiality] by a Party, its Affiliates and Representatives of the obligations hereunder could cause irreparable damage for which no monetary compensation can be an adequate remedy. Accordingly, without prejudice to any other right or remedy that a Party may have, each Party may have the right to seek injunctive relief, specific performance, and other equitable relief for any threatened or actual breach of the provisions of this Agreement.”
Looking for “injunctive, specific performance, and other equitable relief” essentially means that Ubisoft has the right to sue you if you breach the terms of the contract. That doesn’t mean he will, and in the event of, say, a glitch or something else beyond the control of the people involved, I like to think his lawyers would write it off as bad luck and let it slide. But things could be different in a case where someone signed the document and then promptly and purposefully spewed everything they promised to keep secret onto the internet.
In addition to his potential legal troubles, Allen said he has lost personal and business friendships in the games industry due to his secret life as a leaker, and had to delete his personal Twitter account due to the “bailout of hate” he has received since was revealed. Still, he said the pushback is justified and he’s not looking for sympathy or forgiveness.
After apologizing to content creators, journalists, PR reps, and his supporters for his “incomprehensible stupidity,” Allen said he’s taking some time off to step away and “try to learn from this mistake.”
“At the end of the day, I’m sorry,” Allen said. “I can’t turn back time, but what I can do is try to be a better man to move forward and promise you this will never happen again.”
No one has sued Allen at this time, at least that we know of. If he avoids any issues beyond feelings of remorse, it may be the last time the industry excuses an exposed leaker. Ubisoft doesn’t usually have an obvious target after a big leak, at least not that we know of, and certainly not one that it has publicly confessed to. Meanwhile, some game publishers have recently become bolder about pitting lawyers against individuals. Bungie has gone after Destiny 2 cheat creators (opens in a new tab) and users with the courts, and last year a teenage Fortnite player settled with Epic (opens in a new tab) for alleged cheating. Cheating and NDA cracking are different things, but coupled with the recent GTA 6 hack and what feels like a general increase in leaks, it’s possible that the big studios are getting more and more nervous about protecting information, and they are more likely to go to court as a deterrent.