Star Citizen has been highly anticipated on PC for a while now, with its success at crowdfunding setting records and generating hype month after month. Developer Cloud Imperium Games has released early versions of some parts of the game, like the Arena Commander module, but otherwise fans have been left to salivate over countless demos and trailers as they await the 2016 release.
But now, Star Citizen fans have something else to keep them busy until the game officially arrives. A massive bundle of Star Citizen assets were leaked this week, with more than 40 GB of unannounced new ships and other resources finding their way onto YouTube.
The leak occurred not as a result of a malicious hack, but from a screenshot the developer recently posted. The screenshot included a partial URL, and Internet sleuths were able to guess the rest of the address. That led to a torrent with 48 GB of unreleased assets, as detailed on Reddit.
Cloud Imperium moved quickly to shut the torrent down, but not before at least two individuals managed to download the entire file. Fans familiar with CryEngine, Star Citizen‘s development platform, then began going through the assets, uploading what they uncovered to YouTube and Reddit. Quite a few videos have been posted to YouTube user Teller’s channel, and as of this post, they are still online.
A word of caution to fans looking to dig in to the unauthorized files, though: some of the material includes story spoilers for Squadron 42, the upcoming single-player campaign for the title. Cloud Imperium has not commented on the leak as of press time.
While any kind of unauthorized leak is always big news in the world of video games, fans might want to take the leaked videos and screenshots with a grain of salt. The fans assembling the data in CryEngine certainly don’t have the customized toolkits that Cloud is using for the game, and it’s possible many of the ships are unfinished or even rejected models.
It’s understandable that fans want to know as much information as possible about a game that has now raised $83 million and counting, but they should keep in mind that leaked and datamined files don’t always end up making it into the final release. If Cloud Imperium wants to regain control of the situation, perhaps they could give some of the leaked content an official preview to help reset fan expectations for what is actually coming down the pipeline.
Star Citizen is in development for PC and will release by the end of 2016. A new module featuring FPS gameplay is expected to release soon.