GameStop Fires Employee For Massive Zelda Leak

A GameStop employee was terminated after leaking a photo of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

By Jason Collins | Published

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

GameStop fired an employee following an investigation into an information leak about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom edition of Nintendo Switch OLED, committed by said employee. Following the employment termination, however, the GameStop employee was (allegedly) told that Nintendo, a company known for legal persecution, removal of popular games, and tournament shutdowns, pressured the company into terminating his employment.

According to Kotaku, a GameStop employee shared a photo of a GameStop computer screen showing that the inventory database for the company has been updated with the Zelda-themed Tears of the Wild Nintendo Switch model on the Tears of the Kingdom subreddit. The details were posted one day before Nintendo got fans super excited with a new video about the game, along with speculations that Nintendo would soon announce the new device during a showcase of the game—which actually happened.

The Reddit post was quickly traced back to the employee who used his account name and identifiable details about his real identity and was subsequently suspended from work. Within two weeks following the suspension, the GameStop employee was fired for leaking the Zelda image. In a phone interview with Kotaku, the employee stated that the details regarding the termination of his employment and Nintendo’s involvement and insistence on termination were disclosed “off the record” by the superiors. He also stated that he wasn’t aware of any company policy that would forbid sharing information.

Gamestop zelda

The GameStop Zelda leaker stated that he made the leak because he’s a big fan of the franchise and that he wanted to give the fandom a heads-up for when the pre-orders go live. GameStop is notorious for various issues regarding pre-orders, but the leaker didn’t cite this as a reason. These editions are highly coveted by collectors, and they sell out incredibly fast. Furthermore, it’s believed that all special edition reveals are leaked to one place or the other and that many collectors actually get their hands on a particular item due to insider knowledge.

Though GameStop hasn’t offered any official comment on the matter, those close to the sources have confirmed that several supervisors disclosed Nintendo as the catalyst for this particular termination—which should have been a first-offense write-up due to the GameStop employee’s impeccable work ethic. It would seem that Nintendo’s legal team is on the warpath—it most likely has been since 1889 when the company was founded—against anyone infringing upon their intellectual property in any way, including a popular Zelda YouTuber.

In fact, the GameStop Zelda leak isn’t the only thing on Nintendo’s menu of legal persecutions since the company’s lawyers are also trying to force Discord—a source of many leaks, including classified US documents—to identify and reveal the identity of the leaker behind the gigantic leak involving the Tears of the Kingdom artbook. As for the GameStop Zelda leaker, he did manage to secure the Tears of the Kingdom edition of Switch, but he confirmed that he wouldn’t be able to afford it due to lack of employment and the financial uncertainty the situation brings.