Wolverine-developer Insomniac Games sees 1.67TB of secrets leaked in data breach

Enlarge / An officially released image for Insomniac Games’ upcoming game Wolverine.

Acclaimed Sony-owned game development studio Insomniac Games became the victim of a large-scale ransomware attack this week, as initially reported by Cyber Daily. Ransomware group Rhysida dumped 1.67TB of data, including assets and story spoilers from unreleased games, a road map of upcoming titles, internal company communications, employees’ personal data such as passport scans and compensation figures, and much more.

The gang said it chose Insomniac because, as a large and successful studio, it made an attractive target for a money grab. The ransom was $2 million, and Insomniac refused to pay it.

As a result, a trove of emails, Slack messages, slideshow presentations, and more hit the web. Notably, these included screenshots and assets from the studio’s upcoming Wolverine game, as well as confirmation that Wolverine is planned to be the first in a trilogy of games starring X-Men characters. The materials also revealed that the company is working on another Ratchet & Clank game and a new Spider-Man sequel.

Rhysida put some of the data up for bidding by parties other than Insomniac itself, and some was sold.

Insomniac Games has an impressive history of top-selling games, particularly on PlayStation consoles. It became a household name with the Spyro the Dragon series on the first PlayStation. It went on to create and shepherd the Ratchet & Clank series on PlayStation 2, and it released several more Ratchet & Clank games on PlayStation 3, alongside a first-person shooter series dubbed Resistance.

More recently, the studio has released new Ratchet & Clank games on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and three critically acclaimed games based on Marvel’s Spider-Man. It also dabbled in VR development on the Oculus platform and released an Xbox exclusive called Sunset Overdrive before it was acquired by Sony to become a first-party PlayStation studio in August 2019.

As one of the industry’s most accomplished and successful developers, it has an enormous audience of fans who will likely avail themselves of the leaked information about upcoming titles. The leaks also expose internal company information that may be of interest to Sony’s direct competitors, such as Microsoft.

This is far from the first example of a large leak from a triple-A game developer or publisher. For example, footage of Rockstar Games’ highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI made its way onto the Internet last year. There was also a relatively recent high-profile leak affecting Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt Red. Going back decades, there was the infamous incident of leaked Half-Life 2 source code and many more examples.

The scope of this leak is enormous even by the standards of this industry, though.

It’s important to take some of this leaked information with a grain of salt, because there is no guarantee that the information leaked is up to date. Even if it’s current now, the studio’s plans could change and evolve in the coming months and years. The fact that a new Ratchet & Clank game is planned now doesn’t necessarily mean one will be released in a few years; games are canceled all the time.

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