The Absurdity Of Game Industry Secrecy, 'Gears of War 2'-Style

Many of us gamers and game reporters have become accustomed to the intense secrecy surrounding even the most basic facts about upcoming games.

We've gotten used to it.

But when an outsider describes video game secrecyin the context of "Gears of War 2" and incorporates a quote from former Microsoft exec Jeff Bell, well... the whole thing sounds absurd. (Probably because it is!)

Check this paragraph out from the New Yorker magazine's profile of "Gears" designer Cliff Bleszinski:

It is unusual for any game company to allow an outsider access to its meetings, for fear of the game’s features being prematurely disclosed. While discussing Gears 2’s new "crowd" system, which will allow an unprecedented number of individually functioning enemies to flock across the battle space, Bleszinski mentioned how excited he was to open fire upon them with a certain weapon. Within minutes, I was pulled aside by a Microsoft representative and informed that this weapon’s existence would not be confirmed until later in the summer and could I please refrain from mentioning it. The gaming media is largely made up of obsessive enthusiasts, and the carefully planned release of information tantalizes them with the promise of insider knowledge. "How do you reach the core?" Jeff Bell, who used to oversee global marketing for Microsoft’s interactive-entertainment division, asked me. "How?" I asked. "Secrets," he said, his eyes sparkling in the manner of a supervillain announcing his plan to poison the Eastern Seaboard’s water supply. The game industry is more or less leakproof, and possesses a strange kind of innocence: it guards its secrets as guilelessly as a boy might hide from his mother—but not from his brother and sister—the extraterrestrial living in his bedroom.

Sounds a little warped when it's described that way, no?