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An official still from Horizon Forbidden West. Image courtesy of Sony

An early build of Guerrilla Games' highly anticipated Horizon Forbidden West has reportedly leaked online ahead of the game's release next month.

Why it matters: Horizon Forbidden West is one of the year's most anticipated games and a huge exclusive for Sony's PlayStation.

  • VGC reports that the leak is "legitimate" and includes "the entire core content planned for the final game."
  • Footage and images posted to Twitter have since been removed due to copyright holder complaints.
  • Sony did not respond to a request for comment; Guerrilla has also not addressed the leak.

It's common for companies to take action against leakers.

  • Activision Blizzard subpoenaed Reddit to try to find the identity of a user who posted images of Call of Duty: Warzone in 2020.
  • That same year, Nintendo severed all ties with a website that published information about Pokémon Sword and Shield early.

The big picture: Leaks happen all the time in the game industry, though it's less common for a AAA title to experience one.

  • In 2020, however, Sony suffered another high-profile leak when videos of The Last of Us Part II began circulating online after hackers exploited a security flaw.
  • Leaks don't always mean damage to sales, however. The Last of Us Part II went on to sell over 4 million copies just after launch, making it the PlayStation 4's fastest-selling first-party exclusive.

What's next: Horizon Forbidden West launches Feb. 18 for PS4 and PS5.

Go deeper

Dying Light 2's 500-hour completion time draws backlash

Dying Light 2. Screenshot: Techland

A weekend promotional announcement that the upcoming zombie game Dying Light 2 will take 500 hours to complete drew a lot of negative replies.

Why it matters: Big-name games keep getting longer, squeezing out other games and frustrating some players.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

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