Hackers have ruined the Marvel’s Wolverine surprise

  • A ransomware group has allegedly breached Sony developer Insomniac Games, and stolen vast amounts of secret data from the in-development Marvel’s Wolverine game.
  • The group was asking for a ransom of around $2 million before leaking the data online after the deadline expired.
  • Alpha footage, concept art, details about characters, voice cast, storyline details, internal company information and even personal documents were leaked online.

Swathes of in-development content pertaining to upcoming AAA game Marvel’s Wolverine have been leaked online following an alleged ransomware attack on developers Insomniac Games last week. In total, it is claimed that 1.7TB of information has been stolen, with more to be leaked online in the following weeks (including from the studio’s other games).

Cyberdaily first reported on the hack, stemming from ransomware threat actor group “Rhysida” which, after stealing data from Insomniac, began auctioning the information online. This information includes footage from the in-development Wolverine game, secret details about the game’s voice cast, concept art, passport scans of two Insomniac employees, and even private documents of Spider-Man voice actor Yuri Lowenthal.

“With just 7 days on the clock, seize the opportunity to bid on exclusive, unique, and impressive data,” the ransomware group shared on the website spun up to prove the attack was real.

“Open your wallets and be ready to buy exclusive data. We sell only to one hand, no reselling, you will be the only owner!” the group added, asking for 50 bitcoins or around $2 million as a starting price for the cache of data. Rhysida gave seven days for the data to be purchased, either from Insomniac, Sony (who owns Insomniac), or a private buyer. After the seven day period, they said the data would be published online if it wasn’t bought.

It is exactly seven days since Rhysida made its intentions clear, and now leaked footage, details and images of Wolverine are already floating online. There are also rumours that an early playable build of the game has been leaked too, but we have not seen this anywhere.

The initial announcement trailer for Wolverine (also known as Wolverine PS5) during the PlayStation Showcase 2021 event, revealed very little of the game still in early development. The just shy of a minute-long video quickly accrued millions of views (now at eight million) as players grew excited at the prospect of the premier X-Men character getting the Marvel’s Spider-Man series treatment.

Insomniac Games, celebrated developers of the Sony exclusive Spider-Man games has consistently put critically celebrated titles, first with Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018, then its Miles Morales expansion pack, and most recently with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (2023).

Sony, Insomniac’s parent company, has said it is aware of the leaks, and the hack and is investigating the situation. “We have no reason to believe that any other SIE or Sony divisions have been impacted,” a spokesperson told Cyberdaily.

The leaks represent a dire blow to Insomniac, who have been quietly working on the game and according to leaked footage have come quite far. Having internal details stolen and then leaked has a demoralising impact on developers and has implications for the game’s future success. This as internal documentations like release date schedules was also leaked online.

Fortunately, it seems most of the footage is from internal dev reels from 2022, but storyline details, cast details and what characters will appear have also been leaked.

What we now know about Marvel’s Wolverine (The following contains spoilers from the leaks):

Marvel’s Wolverine will be similar to Insomniac’s Spider-Man games, according to internal alpha footage from 2022. You play as Wolverine in a third-person action game, and also as Jean Grey in some sections of the game, mirroring perhaps Mary-Jane sections, but Jean Grey has her own superpower mechanics as well.

Wolverine’s gameplay is separate into three sections: combat, stealth/detective and traversal. Wolverine can use his claws to scale buildings. He can also wall run and leap from rooftop to rooftops. The game will include stealth sections in which Wolverine is crouching and has to navigate through an area using his animal senses.

This includes his heightened hearing and sense of smell. The sense of smell is used similar to Witcher Sense in The Witcher 3, where visual queues represent Wolverine’s senses and lead the player to pieces of evidence which they can use to put together an idea of what happened in a certain room, for example, if there was a murder.

Combat is what you would expect of Wolverine. Much more brutal than Spider-Man, Logan is slaughtering nameless goons by the barrel with his bone claws or adamantium claws. There seems to be different sections of the games at different times in Wolverine’s life, and this is mirrored by the different outfits the character wears, which includes his classic yellow X-Men gear.

A portion of the game takes place in Japan, and there are sections where Wolverine will be able to fight ninja with a katana. Wolverine’s escapades in Japan make for a large part of the character’s comic book mythos, which seems to be what Insomniac will be basing the storyline of the game on.

Basically, the game will detail Wolverine’s life, ending in the Old Man Logan phase. Confirmed characters according to the leaked voice cast include mutants like Mystique, Deathstrike, Sasquatch, Jean Grey (who is being billed as a “secondary protagonist” by the devs), Sinister, Sabretooth, Sunfire, Omega Red, Callisto, Davina, Tyger Tiger, and Leech.

The announcement trailer seemingly takes place in the bar owned by Tyger Tiger. Marvel’s Wolverine is slated to be released in financial year 2026, according to the leaks.

Ransomware attacks in the gaming industry

Insomniac’s ransomware breach will be the second large-scale attack and leak on a major game developer this year. In March, STALKER 2 developer GSC Game World, a Ukrainian company, was struck with a hack by alleged Russian hackers.

The hackers leaked troves of internal data from the game, including concept art and gameplay footage as well as storyline details. The hackers claimed online that they attacked GSC because the developers would not be releasing the game in Russian due to the ongoing war between the two nations.

STALKER is incredibly popular in Russia as well as Ukraine, despite the ongoing conflict. Like the group that attacked Insomniac, the Russian hackers gave a deadline for payment before they leaked the information online.

[Image – Insomniac]


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