Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Screenshot: YouTube

Big games beget big leaks, especially this time of year when the gaming industry’s porous promotional machinery is revving up for the E3 trade show.

Driving the news: It happened again Thursday when eight minutes of Ubisoft's upcoming "Far Cry 6" leaked online, a day before it was supposed to appear. It was deleted in minutes, but thousands still saw it.

The big picture: Big video game leaks are nearly impossible to stop.

  • Companies have tried many things to tighten the pipes, including blacklisting press outlets and suing leakers.
  • But the more prominent the upcoming game, the more people involved, and the higher the public curiosity, the more likely the leak.
  • "There's just too many opportunities for a mid level employee to have their laptop open on a plane in games," former Ubisoft creative director Alex Hutchinson told Axios, citing the notorious way the name of a previously-secretive mega-game leaked in 2013. (Sometimes those open laptops are on a subway.)

The "Far Cry 6" incident appears to involve confusion over a coverage embargo date.

  • The footage was posted to YouTube by Polish YouTuber Patryk "Rojson" Rojewski, who told Axios that he had been provided the clips by Ubisoft under an agreement that said they could run on May 27.
  • Rojewski said he had not been told that Ubisoft changed the date. "I approach my work professionally," he said.

Several minutes of video of another upcoming Ubisoft game, "The Division: Heartland," leaked two weeks ago.

  • Ubisoft had granted some players early access to a work-in-progress version of the game so they could test it out.
  • The company showed those users a video briefing from a "Heartland" developer who ended their overview by asking them not to leak: "Please don't be the one who ruins the surprise for the larger Division community."

It's not just Ubisoft (though it very often is). Screenshots and video snippets of EA's highly-anticipated next "Battlefield" game have been trickling out for weeks.

Between the lines: It's unclear if leaks ultimately help or hurt a game's performance, because of the tautology that highly-anticipated games are the ones that most frequently leak.

For game developer morale, leaks have a more noticeable effect.

  • Some game makers have said that leaks provide a bit of relief, letting them acknowledge what they've been working on in secret, often for years.
  • But it's much more common to hear sentiments like those by Hutchinson: "I always felt that it was disheartening and pointless," he said. "We are going to reveal all the information, hopefully in a fun way, and then it gets spoiled by semi-truths and rumours which then pollute the real announce."

Go deeper

Upcoming war video game is about saving lives, not taking them

Screenshot: Brave Lamb Studios

The upcoming video game “War Hospital” is the rare historical war game focused on saving lives, not taking them.

Why it matters: War video games are common and cliche. Not this one.

Video game developers struggle to fix "crunch culture"

Naughty Dog co-presidents Neil Druckmann (left) and Evan Wells. Photo: Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Game developers aired diverging views this weekend about whether encouraging developers to work "passionately" on a game is cover for inducing them to work too much.

Why it matters: Crunch has been accepted as a real, impactful issue within the game industry, but there still isn't a simple fix applicable to the entire sector.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!