Halo 5 Director Frank O’Connor Does Not Like Leaks

Halo 5 director, Frank O’Connor, has criticised those who leak information to the games press, specifically targeting a user named CBOAT on NeoGAF.

“Breaking embargos is not prophesy. Nor does it require any particular skill or insight,” O’Connor posted on NeoGAF. “Ultimately he is taking or being given information and leaking it, illegally and often erroneously. And he isn’t doing it for some noble or worthy reason. He’s doing it for attention.”

“People, including nice people with kids and families and stuff, work super hard on this stuff and wake up in the morning to find some of their effort blown up. It’s not fun, and for what? So you can have a mildly interesting surprise 8 hours early and lacking context? Or get hyped or disappointed disproportionately? Or get someone fired or someone innocent yelled at? Ok. But it isn’t prophecy, nor ultimately even important. It’s annoying.”

What I find annoying is Frank’s assumption that the press, who will report the leaks to their eager readers, are here to publicise his game at the time of his choosing under his conditions. That’s not the job of the press, that is the job of an advert.

Note: If you are reading this Frank, please observe that you are embargoed from making any sort of statement or reply until 12.30 pm on June 30th, 20014. Please make sure you observe this embargo, people, including “nice people with kids and families” work very hard in the press, you wouldn’t want them to get shouted at, would you?

Source: NeoGAF



  1. to be fair he has a point. People work extremely hard and for them, a leak is someone they trust letting the whole team down. I can see why he would be upset. I get your point Tuffcub and I like the joke, but he does have a point.

    If someone did that to me on something I worked extremely hard on, I would be very upset too.

    • So have I. Stop treating the press like we are here to advertise your game. That’s how things are at the moment, and it’s wrong.

  2. Agree with Tuff.

    Hell, that’s the reason I keep reading my gaming news here at TSA rather than at some of the larger gaming sites. Because TSA tends to tell me what’s actually going on rather than what the publishers want me to hear. Long may that be the case!

    As for Frank. If information leaks upset him that much, then he’s probably working in the wrong industry.

  3. While these leaks are obviously annoying, and I can appreciate that, it’s up to 343 and Microsoft to keep a lid on their own projects. If they don’t want people talking, then they need to make sure that people who would talk regardless of NDAs are kept out of the loop.

    If that’s impossible, then there’s some classic spy techniques out there to find a double agent or mole in the organisation. Just seed suspected leakers with subtly different and incorrect information and see what gets out.

    There’s no use blaming NeoGAF, CBOAT or the press, when they can only play with the information which is coming out of your own company one way or another.

  4. nice people? at TSA? O_O

    seriously though, does it really make much difference if somebody reveals some info about a game? that many people won’t even believe until it’s officially confirmed.

    if they’re spoiling important plot points or something, fine, there’s a special place in hell for those malicious spoilers.

    but if it just upsets your marketing plan, well, so what frankly.

    if the only thing your game has going for it is the marketing then you’ve got bigger problems than leaks.

    like TC says, the games media aren’t your personal PR department, if they get news, they report it.

    you can’t have total control over the media’s coverage of your product, if you could it would be worthless.

  5. “What I find annoying is Frank’s assumption that the press, who will report the leaks to their eager readers, are here to publicise his game at the time of his choosing under his conditions. That’s not the job of the press, that is the job of an advert.”


  6. I think the games industry should to ask itself why its so imperative that projects are kept secret. Yeah I get it with hardware but things like a new Halo etc are predictable and don’t need the secrecy.

  7. The press isn’t what he’s criticising though, is it?

    The press is who reports on the leak after it’s happened, but he’s criticising the leak itself. It’s the breach of trust he’s calling out, and that’s not the press’ fault. I don’t think anyone expects the press to not report on something which has already been made public. It’s how it became public which is his issue.

    • No he’s not, you are quite right he does not criticise the press, but he is saying “You cannot talk about this game until we say so, which will be X o’clock on Xth of X, when we say you can talk about it and out carefully planned PR strategy comes in to play.”

    • thats how I read it too.

  8. And stuff.
    Don’t forget the stuff.
    So important, stuff was mentioned twice.
    And stuff.

    Make sure you get stuff. Ed. ;)

  9. Also, just noticed Tuff has embargoed Frank from making a statement or reply for eighteen thousand years.

    Not sure if that’s optimism or pessimism, but whichever it is, its an extreme example!

    (or it could just be a typo…)

    • No, it’s eighteen thousand years from now.

  10. 20014 is a very long time away.

    Anyho, as much as I can understand his frustration, it’s their own failing at keeping people from talking.

    I don’t think he’s intentionally lashing out at the press, but I do fully agree with Tuffcub that the various gamingsites around the web are not advertising companies. If he wants the press to be quiet, then don’t tell them anything or give them a damn good reason to shut up. It’s important to never give secret information out too soon.

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