The highly anticipated Nintendo Switch game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, has unexpectedly surfaced on the internet, with pirated copies being distributed and significant gameplay footage streamed and uploaded.
Beware of spoilers lurking around.
Just yesterday, live streams of the game were spotted on Twitch and Discord, a full two weeks before the game’s intended release date. These streams have since been taken down.
The source of the leak and the number of distributed copies remain uncertain. However, the fact that the game has been pirated for PC sharing and playing is a significant concern for Nintendo.
Eurogamer has viewed images and videos of the game, which reveal major gameplay and plot details that Nintendo intended to keep secret until the game’s official launch.
If you’re looking forward to a spoiler-free experience with Tears of the Kingdom, it’s best to steer clear of social media for the time being.
Leaks involving Nintendo games are not unheard of, but the premature nature of this particular leak has sparked questions about its origin.
As the game’s release date approaches, hundreds of thousands of physical copies are stored in distribution centers and warehouses globally, awaiting shipment to retailers.
A physical copy of the game was recently spotted for sale on the US-based resale website Mercari for $300, but the listing has since been taken down.
This leak follows a previous incident involving images from an official art book for the game. Nintendo’s legal team sought to force Discord to disclose the leaker’s identity after the images appeared on their platform.
In a similar case in 2021, two Pokémon enthusiasts leaked unreleased details of Pokémon Sword and Shield by sharing images from a strategy guide book. The Pokémon Company took legal action, and the two fans eventually settled for a staggering $300k, covering damages, attorney’s fees, and other expenses.
On a side note, last month, Nintendo raised eyebrows by confirming its continued employment of its controversial Russian boss, Yasha Haddazhi, and its ongoing business relationship with his side company, which had previously imported Nintendo Switch games into Russia, bypassing Nintendo’s official sales ban.