At least one retailer has broken the street date for much-anticipated space exploration title No Man's Sky, and at least two media outlets posted footage of the game over the weekend.
Review copies of No Man's Sky aren't arriving until launch day (August 10 NZT/AEST), but both Polygon and Kotaku managed to buy copies and upload roughly an hour of gameplay each.
However, Sony swiftly convinced them to take their videos down – not just with a DCMA takedown request, but also by mentioning that the game is nowhere near complete without a large patch that arrives tomorrow.
"The only reason we have not sent out review copies yet is due to a significant pre-release patch currently scheduled for Monday, August 8 [August 9 NZT/AEST]," the publisher wrote in an email to Polygon.
"No Man's Sky is an ambitious game and the patch is a culmination of the studio's day-1 aspirations."
The patch in question is certainly a massive one. It's the first of many free updates for the game according to Hello Games' Sean Murray, and it has been keeping Hello Games busy since No Man's Sky went gold in June.
You can see the full patch notes here (warning: some of it might be considered very slightly spoiler-y), but basically, the patch overhauls many of the game's systems while diversifying ship builds, planets, creatures, and environments.
Notably, it makes "big changes to combat", and removes the infinite warp cell exploit and rare goods trading exploit that some dude used recently to beat the game in 30 hours.
"People using these cheats were ruining the game for themselves, but people are weird and can’t stop themselves," wrote Murray.
The Hello Games managing director also mentioned that the game's servers will be wiped twice before launch.
"We’re under a pretty intense spotlight right now, and hopefully it’s easy to imagine how hard it would be to switch off from that, or how deeply we care about people’s first impression of the game," he said.
"If you had an early copy somehow, your save game will technically work post update, but you will miss out on new content and experiences if you don’t delete your save before updating.
"We highly recommend deleting your save if you have played before updating your game (we won’t do this in future, but it’s a day zero update). Servers will be wiped on Sunday and again Monday in the lead up to launch."
One media outlet apparently didn't get the memo about the patch, and has posted a review already (8/10, for the record).
One man familiar with the heartbreak of seeing a game he worked on leak early is Bethesda's Pete Hines, who nonetheless doesn't blame fans for being eager.
“I don’t think people realise how upsetting this is, and how much it bothers and hurts the devs, and all of us," Hines told Game Informer.
"Someone asked me on Fallout 4, 'What’s it like watching somebody play your game before launch on streams? I guess it must be like watching someone open presents before Christmas Day.' No. It’s like watching somebody else open your Christmas presents a week before Christmas.
"That’s what it really feels like. You put years of your life and energy into something and somebody goes and gets it early and, regardless of whether there’s a day one patch or not, it sucks.
"As for the No Man’s Sky folks, I feel for them, and for any dev that has to go through it. It really sucks. It’s not the fans fault that the store decided to sell it. If I walked into a store and they said, 'Here’s Dishonored 2,' yeah, I would want to play that," Hines added.
"Remember that conversation a few years ago about always online? Guess what that stops? It stops people from getting the game early and playing it before they are supposed to. There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy about that, but one of the things that it actually did was prevent people from playing it early."