Starfield landscape

Image source: Bethesda

Bad idea.

29-year-old man Darin Harris has been arrested for allegedly stealing copies of the highly anticipated video game, Starfield, and subsequently attempting to sell them online. Harris’s arrest came after he gained notoriety for leaking gameplay footage of the game, which quickly went viral across various social media platforms.

Starfield Leaker Arrested, Report Claims

According to reports from Kotaku, Harris was taken into custody by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on August 24. He now faces multiple charges, including a felony charge for the theft of property valued between $2,500 and $10,000, a misdemeanor charge for the theft of property valued at $1,000 or less, and another misdemeanor charge for the possession of marijuana.

The incident began when Harris published approximately 40 minutes of Starfield gameplay footage on his YouTube channel a few days before his arrest. Despite efforts by Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, to contain the leak, the video and shorter clips quickly spread throughout the internet.

In a bold move, Harris followed up the leaked footage with a “review” video of the game, where he offered commentary and shared his thoughts on the gameplay. In the video, he made reference to Starfield director Todd Howard and addressed the online reactions to his gameplay.

“I ain’t mad, I know what happens,” Harris stated in the video. “That game’s smooth. For all the gamers out there who want a different kind of game, that’s definitely something to get. It takes time, you have to read it, you can’t just jump into it, you’ll be jumping around like I was for a minute.”

He continued, “Todd, no offence man, that’s a good game. Perfect timing, about leaving the earth and all that, it’s good stuff. Pretty swell, good moves. They were saying I play like a beginner because I’m not a game expert, I was just trying something out. That’s a good game, y’all don’t want to miss it. Starfield for real.”

The alleged theft of Starfield copies by Harris involved uploading listings for multiple copies of the game, including its premium $300 Constellation Edition, to the Japanese e-commerce platform Mercari. However, the exact details of how Harris managed to obtain these copies before the game’s official release remain unclear.

Originally slated for a November 2022 release, Starfield faced delays, with Bethesda announcing in May 2022 that the game’s launch was pushed to the first half of 2023. Another delay was disclosed in March of this year, setting the official release date to September 6.

In a recent update, Bethesda showcased Starfield gameplay as part of the Gamescom 2023 Opening Night Live event. If you’ve not yet checked out its story trailer then you can watch it here.

As the gaming world eagerly awaits the release of Starfield, the arrest of Darin Harris serves as a stark reminder of the consequences that can accompany early leaks and theft of highly coveted video games.