10 Insane Ways Video Games Were Kept Under Wraps

These games went to extreme lengths to conceal the truth.

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No entertainment industry is more secretive than video games - while movies and TV shows are often shot on location where it's virtually impossible to prevent the general public snapping photos, games are more often than not made in secure, air-conditioned offices which aren't accessible to the average person.

And while it might seem like game developers therefore have a far easier time of keeping their projects under wraps, your average AAA game is worked on by hundreds if not thousands of artists, programmers, and marketing people before we even end up seeing a single shot of it.

As such, it's little surprise that gaming industry leaks are so commonplace, and to combat this developers are often forced to take drastic measures to protect their investment.

These 10 video games all went above-the-odds to preserve their biggest surprises, from fielding out misinformation to hungry fans, releasing extremely manipulative trailers, keeping only the most necessary personnel in the loop, and in one case even hiding the game's development from the parent company itself.

While many will argue that the gaming industry's excessive cloak-and-dagger approach actually isn't good for developers or customers, for these games it was at least effective in ensuring players' expectations were thoroughly subverted...

10. Its Codename Was "Rock Band: Nickelback" - Rock Band Network

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The Rock Band Network (RBN) was a DLC service for the Rock Band series launched in 2009, just before The Beatles: Rock Band hit stores.

Pre-release, developers Harmonix kept the RBN a top-secret project, knowing full well that it had majorly lucrative potential - by allowing music rights-holders to add their own songs to the game - if it was rolled out correctly.

To keep unwanted attention away from RBN during its developmental phase, it was reportedly referred to as "Rock Band: Nickelback" internally. The reason for Nickelback? The New York Times explains:

"The Rock Band Network is so potentially consequential that Harmonix went to great lengths to keep its development secret, including giving it the unofficial in-house code name Rock Band: Nickelback, on the theory that the name of the quintessentially generic modern rock group would be enough to deflect all curiosity."

That's some next-level genius right there, and considering the general disdain rock fans have for Nickelback, it worked perfectly.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.