Earlier today, EGM posted an article outlining a purported leak of new details about Red Dead Redemption 2‘s gameplay, story, and online multiplayer, based on a 4chan thread that was making the rounds.
After further investigation, it now seems likely the entire story is the result of a hoax. In a subsequent 4chan thread, little noticed at the time but archived on the mirror site 4tan.org, the same user returned to announce that his initial thread was nothing more than a hoax designed to trick the community into believing unsourced rumors.
Here’s the relevant text of the updated post:
So 2 days ago I made a thread claiming to be a Rockstar Employee and leaked 100% FAKE INFORMATION ON EVERYTHING!!
YES IT IS ALL FAKE!!
I did this to bait the people that take ANY leaks on 4chan seriously. This was my goal. To show you how gullible and stupid you guys are this time of year.
For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of 4chan, the letters and numbers beside the username, known as a tripcode, verify the user’s identity and cannot be easily spoofed by anyone else. That means the same person almost certainly authored both threads.
There is, of course, a chance that the original information was correct, and this second post is the source attempting to sow confusion about what is an actual, true leak—but that seems unlikely. More importantly, it’s beside the point. If we took the user at his or her word for the first post, we have no reason not to do so here.
EGM regrets the decision to publish the original story. We have no qualms with reporting anonymously sourced rumors and purported leaks so long as we are careful not to mislead in our coverage. We label all questionable reports as such in our coverage and do our best to communicate the ultimate provenance of any information to the best of our abilities. However, in this case, we should have put more effort into finding out more about the original source before we published the article.
The blame ultimately lies with our editorial staff. We were mislead by claims that the so-called leaker had previously revealed accurate information on GTA Online updates. In fact, it was in the process of vetting that claim that this second thread was discovered, but this regrettably happened just after the original article had gone live, rather than before, an error made in the interest of adhering to our posting schedule. We’ll strive to do better in the future.