The hackers who breached Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac and threatened to release confidential data unless paid 50 BTC, or around $2 million, within seven days have made good on their threat after Sony reportedly refused to meet their demands.
According to Cyber Daily, the ransomware group released 1.67 terabytes of data, made up of more than 1.3 million files, which contain a variety of videos and images showing upcoming game Marvel’s Wolverine, personal staff information, and even a contract signed by both Marvel and Sony for future projects.
Videos showing early Wolverine footage and unannounced characters are now online, as is the game’s cast, a list of locations, the plot, and a target release date. Insomniac’s release slate up to the end of 2033 is also listed alongside estimated development budgets. The data reportedly also includes a bootable build of Wolverine.
Marvel’s Wolverine – Direct-Feed Screens [September 2021]
When news of the data breach first emerged, Sony issued a statement saying it had launched an investigation, and confirmed no other Sony divisions were affected. Neither it nor Insomniac have commented on this latest publication of the material.
Cyber Daily published a statement attributed to a Rhysida spokesperson: “Yes, we knew who we were attacking. We knew that developers making games like this would be an easy target. We were able to get the domain administrator within 20–25 minutes of hacking the network. Sony has launched an investigation, but it would be better in the backyard.” Apparently the Rhysida spokesperson said money was the only motive for the attack.
Information from the data breach, including potential spoilers, follows:
The data released includes a slide that reveals Insomniac’s upcoming games list. The planned games are Marvel’s Venom in 2025, Marvel’s Wolverine in 2026, Marvel’s Spider-Man 3 in 2028, a new Ratchet & Clank in 2029, Marvel’s X-Men in 2030, and an untitled new IP in 2031/2032. As with all information revealed in the data breach, this release slate is subject to change.
Another slide shows an extended roadmap that includes multiple X-Men games and a second new IP game released in 2035. Yet another slide details Insomniac’s multiplayer ambitions, which include Spider-Man 2 Online for 2024, Wolverine Online for 2026, and X-Men Online for 2028. These release plans may now be out of date.
The X-Men licence terms are detailed. $120 million is listed as a development budget for each game, with $30 million earmarked for marketing. All X-Men games are meant to launch by 2035, with PlayStation console and PC down as platforms.
Insomniac’s Venom game is fully detailed. It’s called Venom: Lethal Protector and leads into Spider-Man 3 following the events of Spider-Man 2. It sounds like Venom is to Spider-Man 2 what Miles Morales was to Spider-Man, offering an 8-10 hour standalone experience. A Q2 2025 release window is mentioned alongside a $49.99 price point.
Another slide suggests Spider-Man 3 may launch in two parts, with part one down for holiday 2027, and part two pegged for holiday 2028. Multiplayer is listed to launch alongside part one. A “combo” game is down for 2029. Again, these plans may now be out of date.
End of information from the data breach, including potential spoilers.
Cyber attacks are of increasing concern to tech companies, with the video game industry suffering a number of breaches in recent years. In 2020, Capcom suffered a devastating data breach that revealed a number of unannounced games, including Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Street Fighter 6. International law enforcement finally apprehended the ransomware group responsible in October.
Last year, dozens of video files related to GTA 6 were stolen and leaked online. One of the accused hackers, Arion Kurtaj, of the Lapsus$ group, was convicted of 12 different offenses following a seven-week trial in August.