In a bizarre incident, online gaming enthusiasts have leaked several pages of the US-built M2A2 AIFV’s user manual to War Thunder forums as part of a heated dispute over the precise technical details of their favorite military technology, RT news agency reported on Friday.
War Thunder is a free multiplayer action game that allows players to fight against each other using historical and modern military equipment. Many of its fans are obsessed with accuracy and push the game and designers to get every detail right, often backing up their claims with limited materials.
The leaked material consisted of two pages of manual with detailed information about the commander’s hatch as well as the turret and spall liner assemblies down to every bolt and nut. The leak was a result of an immature heated discussion between players regarding their choice of military technology in the game developed by Gaijin Entertainment, a Budapest-based company with distinct Russian origins.
“There was a post containing classified or restricted information regarding Bradley on December 12th,” the company’s founder, Anton Yudintsev, explained in a statement provided to PC Gamer on Thursday, RT News reported.
However, according to Yudintsev, that particular leak doesn’t come from the War Thunder forums, but has been floating around various platforms like Reddit and Discord since December 8th. He emphasized that the company is doing everything it can to quickly crack down on leakers, stating that the War Thunder forum is definitely one of the strictest in the world on this matter.
The game moderators were able to delete the leaked information ‘within minutes’ but many users already got access to the sensitive information and shared it ahead. However, not considered as a top secret the technical manual has export-collected data and should not be accessible to everybody.
War Thunder fans spilled the beans on the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, F-117 Nighthawk, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle in 2023 alone. Earlier reports concerned French Leclerc and British Challenger-2 tanks, as well as Chinese DTC10-125 anti-armor shells. In all, players have shared confidential and sensitive information on at least 14 separate occasions over the years based on mission and purpose.