Approach to Handling Rumors and Leaks

handling leak

As many members of the Smash fanbase are aware, there have been numerous reports of rumors in the past few weeks. Source Gaming has not publicly taken a stance on these rumors, nor written reports on these rumors for a couple of reasons. Today, I would like to explain why we have avoided discussing these rumors, and some potential issues I see within the community. We are not calling anyone out in particular; instead, this should be taken as general advice for the whole community. Before we begin, this article reflects the opinion of PushDustIn, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of the other staff members of Source Gaming.

The reason that Source Gaming has not reported on these rumors is two-fold. The first, is because we could not verify the identity of the original source. While the people who are making these claims are incredibly trustworthy, not having a deep understanding of the source is critical to our decision to report. The second, is because I was told not to pass on information that was told to me. While a lot of people have come out of the woodwork to state that they “know,” the promise to not pass on information was another key component of my decision to not get publicly involved with the rumors. Simply put, if I couldn’t pass the information onto our audience then there was no need to alert that audience that I was in “know”. The promise to safe-guard information is incredibly important to Source Gaming, and it should be important for the whole community. Let me explain.

We, as a community need to protect the informants and their identities. In some cases this means not to pass on information that compromises that source. This is because leaking that information will have a negative impact on future news and leads. If informants do not feel safe, then they will not pass on information. If information about the potential informant (whether the rumor was true or not) leaks to the general public, then that person may lose their job, get sued, or face general negative consequences at work. This will impact other people’s decision to become informants in the future. This leads me to the next point.

If you are in a position where you are aware of information, then you should do one of two things. If the information does NOT jeopardize your source, then you may share it, or at least some details. If it does jeopardize your source, then keep your trap shut. In either of these cases, teasing the general fan base is unacceptable. It’s great that you are in the “know”. Please “know” when to shut up and let the rumors come to fruition. Teasing the fan base will just make people angry at you: the rumor suddenly becomes about the ‘jerk who doesn’t share information’ instead of the ‘cool new content’. 

I’ve said this before but, the Smash fanbase was born from hype. The hype levels cannot always be contained. The Smash Bros. games have probably seen the most amount of fake rumors / leaks of any games. The amount of fake rumors/ leaks has severely burned the trust of everyone in the community. The knee-jerk reaction is to call it fake…because 99.99% of the time, the rumor or leak IS fake. This is part of the reason Source Gaming has found a lot of success within the community. We are attempting to wade through the bull to the best of our ability. Source Gaming won’t be 100% correct all the time, but we always aim to be.  


I know the characters in Smash are the most important part of the game. This is something that Sakurai himself has said when deciding to make DLC. Smash characters are also unique compared to other games because they come from other properties. Basically, your favorite character or game could be represented in Smash. Since people are very passionate about their favorite game or character, it makes sense that so many people are so invested with the characters.

Lastly, I think the fanbase in general needs to take a step back and cool their jets. Yes, the teasing wasn’t kosher. At the same time, harassment by the fanbase is ALSO not kosher. We need to calm down. This ties a bit back into the points Kokonoe made in his guest article on Source Gaming. We should be a lot more grateful for what we have, and quite frankly, expect a lot less. The amount of DLC that Smash Bros. has is incredible— and unprecedented — especially for Nintendo. I know we’ve been burned a lot in the past by fake rumors and leaks, but we can’t continue to harass people. It’s making the community look bad, and it’s not productive.

In summary, the reason that Source Gaming did not get publicly involved with the recent rumors is because they were a mess and the promise not to share information. Since we couldn’t contribute positively to the rumors, we decided to not discuss them. I know some fans may be unsatisfied with this response, but that’s the truth. We will continue to try to improve the community through hard work and our dedication.

How do you guys feel about the recent rumors? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

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  1. I’m a bit torn on this issue… on the one hand, I understand the need to protect sources, but on the other, as a passionate Smash fan, I’m dying for news like everyone else. 🙁

    I’m just hoping we hear something this week. A Direct was rumored to be happening sometime this month, and according to Nintendo Inquirer, Nintendo is supposed to report on earnings this Wednesday and hold an investor’s meeting on Thursday. ( I’ve also read that Nintendo tends to reveal a lot of high-profile stuff in October (probably for the holiday season.)

    A Direct won’t GUARANTEE Smash news, but if the rumors / leaks have some merit to them, we may very well be in for some relief from this drought soon.

    1. I think we are bound to see a Nintendo direct SOMETIME in November. They wouldn’t confirm that they are continuing them and then not have them. I think it just takes time for them to organize everything for the directs.

  2. To be honest, I really commend you guys for refusing to overstep your bounds when it comes to rumors. So many other news/informative sites have taken sides without a second thought, and because of that it’s become hard to find information that isn’t tainted by bias. You may have been criticized for not going into detail on rumor talk, but you did the right thing.

    1. Thanks. I’m afraid some people might have been turned off because we weren’t reporting on it (In fact, our view count took a hit from not reporting on them. Since we don’t run ads/ are driven by view count it’s not that big of an issue), but I really think we did the right thing in the long run. We are still committed to reporting the facts and providing quality posts for the community.

    1. While the most recent rumour is pretty much dead, the shovel knight rumour is still ongoing.

      The issue with these current rumours was a whole lot of people knew about the it but would not say anything. They were most likely told not to pass on what they had been told but rather than keep it quiet that they knew anything they teased the smash community relentlessly about it without actually giving anything substantial. If someone had just come out and said ‘my source says X character will be announced on Y day through Z method’ then this rumour would not have turned into the huge mess that it did.

      The difference with Shovel Knight was that it had one person reporting on it (Tamaki) and he told us straight out what the rumour was: Shovel Knight will be announced by the end of the year for Super Smash Bros. I do not know how he will be announced. There is very little if any ambiguity in his statement and most importantly he only the teasing of his knowledge for about 2 days prior to he is revealing of it in order to generate hype and not teasing it for the whole duration of the rumours life cycle.

      1. The upcoming SourceCast might touch upon the issue, as we will be discussing “Endless Speculation”. However, I cannot go into detail about the source behind the SK rumor (or the recent rumor) as the need to protect the source takes priority over dispersing information for the community.

    2. I could probably write a whole post updating my thoughts on the Shovel Knight/ the recent rumor. In fact, I might since I know a lot of people are wondering about this. I’ve discussed the issue extensively in the NintenZone on SmashBoards, so I might work my thoughts into a post for later this week/ next week as I know not everyone who reads SG is on SmashBoards.

  3. Hmmm…I think I should apologize for bringing up things that’s related to rumors and leaks. It’s just we’ve been hearing these stuffs all over the place through the entire internet, including Youtube as it’s most mentioned. These things just makes us more curious and confused if they were meant to be true or false, which it IS meant to be untrustworthy since there’s no exact source and evidence to it, as places like 4chan are never meant to be trusted at all. Some leaks has been proven true like the ESRB’s leaked 3DS CSS full roster and Roy & Ryu’s sound data, but some became false or debunked like Gematsu’s character leaks and Wii U stage leaks with the inclusion of Tower of Smash rumor. Sure rumors and leaks does give fans hypes, but at the same time, suspicions whether to believe it or not. But it’s true that those should be avoided, not just it’ll lose the informant’s job and life, but destroys fan’s expectations and trusts. Honestly, after I believed on some rumors and confirmed they all ended up as teased fakes, I ended up having issues that I can no longer trust anything anymore, which is a STUPIDEST issue I had personally as I should be shamed of.

    But either way, we respect the policy that you made here. But if there’s some kind of info that seems to be suspicious or trustworthy, we could all at least discuss about it, as long we promise not to expect anything until the officials reveals something as a surprise.

    1. No need to apologize for bringing it up, zoniken. Everyone’s anxious for the announcement of new characters, and speculation (including comments on rumors) is a great way to have interesting speculation discussions. The point of this article is basically PushDustIn saying that SG is not going to comment on just any rumor, and there are some that, even if they have something to back it up, SG is unable to share that information as it might endanger the informant’s position.

      And no worries, I’ve fallen for some fake leaks before… making mistakes is just part of the learning process. Reminds me of the Shovel Knight / Runbow “leak.” I took a look at the Mii Fighter costumes and was like: “…there’s absolutely no way this is real. Everything is too predictable.”

      On a side note, I believe the Gematsu leaker’s information may have been trustworthy at a certain point, but it seems like information before the roster was finalized. There was evidence of a Rhythm Heaven icon in the data for Smash 4, so it’s possible Chorus Men (or I think more likely Marshall) may have been planned, but scrapped due to low priority or technical difficulties. Everything else about the leak was correct, aside from Chrom being playable and the reveal dates (the latter of which may have been guesswork), which may point to pre-development documents. I could be wrong, of course…

    2. “But either way, we respect the policy that you made here. But if there’s some kind of info that seems to be suspicious or trustworthy, we could all at least discuss about it, as long we promise not to expect anything until the officials reveals something as a surprise.”

      This issue is I/ the SG team knows the Smash Community gets too carried away when reporting on rumors. We’ve reported on the Shovel Knight rumor, which we have independently verified comes from a respectable source. We have a policy of reporting on rumors/leaks that we think have a high chance of being correct. We really don’t want to spread misinformation, and our intention is to not mislead the Smash community. I’ve been an active member of the Smash Leaks group on SmashBoards, and I see new rumors/ leaks every day. 99.99% of the time they are just made up, so if we reported on all of them it would get very tiring/ boring. Plus, there are already a lot of sites/ YouTube channels, etc that reports on such rumors/ leaks, so I feel Source Gaming can really distinguish itself by only reporting on credible leaks/ rumors.

    1. Whoops, disregard this and my previous comment please. I responded to someone else but his posts got deleted apparently.

      1. We deleted the spam/hate comments that were from yesterday. For the time being, comments will need to be approved before appearing on the site.

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