It’s called the “Streisand Effect” – by telling someone not to pay attention to something, you end up drawing more and more scrutiny to it, making the original thing far more widely known than it might have been originally.
The name comes from an incident where Barbra Streisand sued a photographer to prevent images of her Malibu home being published in magazines. Prior to the lawsuit, the image of Streisand’s home were accessed six times. Thanks to public interest in the case, that number skyrocketed to nearly 500,000 in just one month. The aerial photographs were part of a 12,000 image collection taken to document coastal erosion, and without Streisand causing a fuss, nobody would have realised her home was among the images.
Similarly, if Mirada Studios (a company created by Guillermo del Toro to work on CG projects) hadn’t sent a cease and desist notice over a news story about an alleged trailer for Fallout 4, the detail might have quietly slipped through the cracks.
However. The story goes that a Mirada employee updated his LinkedIn profile to include a mention of a “Fallout 4 cinematic trailer” – adding further evidence to the story that Bethesda is planning a big reveal in the near future. The LA-based freelance 3D artist’s updated CV stated that he worked with Mirada from “December 2014 to March 2015” on the project.
This profile was discovered by VideoGamer.com, and caused a bit of a flutter in the gaming media.
As the website reports:
We received an email from Mirada Studios demanding we pull this story. A representative cited inaccuracies, but also confirmed the story was breaking a non-disclosure agreement. As nobody at Destructoid signed an NDA, we’re assuming that confirms somebody else broke NDA. I wonder who might be in trouble.
UK Editor Kate Dale points out that her outlet has never signed anything with Mirada Studios, so she’s not sure quite which NDA the letter is referring to.
The key thing here though is that, like it or not, Mirada has just confirmed that something is in the works, and thanks to their lawyers, more people now know about it than if the studio had just let it slide.
While Mirada is – obviously – a bit upset about the leak, the real victims here are Bethesda and Zenimax, who have just had one of their big E3 reveals snatched away from them. Even though “everybody” knows Fallout 4 is in the works and is likely to be properly revealed next month, it’s one thing to “know” and another to have been all-but told.
The lesson here, of course, is to keep quiet about your work-related projects until you’re sure they’ve been publicly announced, or until your NDA expires.