Why do game developers hate leaks?

I never understood why game developers hate when their games get leaked,I’m not a programmer or developer yet,but i understand that leaking the source code would cause a lot of problems,but why do they hate when general information/images/videos get leaked?

I imagine because it creates expectations, and throws off the marketing plan

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Imagine someone breaking into your house, taking pictures of all your stuff, going into your bank account seeing how much money you have, spending the afternoon with your boss talking about your “performance” and then taking your significant other on an afternoon stroll just to talk about you. After which someone disappears forever.

In none of these scenarios does this “someone” actually do anything directly horribly negative, beyond the act of doing it, and yet the act of “intrusion” seems to be bad enough in itself even if there are no direct immediate repercussions to such actions.


In this scenario we are talking about a specific game company and a game, but the general concept carries over, where just the intrusion itself can make someone very uncomfortable especially since things are a “work in progress”.

Ultimately, a lot of things lead back to the business itself, where there are financial risks to such intrusions. The code itself isn’t a direct risk, which is why stuff like “open source” exists, but a company not built for “open source” could see repercussions in other ways down the line.

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Putting aside the marketing side of things, games tend to be the end result of years of time and effort expended in an attempt to realise a singular vision (be that story or mechanic or art style or some combination thereof). The end product is the actual thing. Not (for example) some physics engine tests from 2019. Games tend to change focus during the course of development, so random work-in-progress crap often isn’t reflective of much at all.

I believe they want the audience to anticipate the outcome and wait for the actual game to release. Its just so frustrating to be working on something that you want people to be excited about, and then you get to know they’ve already had a sneak peek and they somehow know what’s there to come.
Also, there are plenty of people waiting to steal the idea as well.