A while ago, a multiplayer mod was announced for the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. This mod was created by a user on the REGNR8 Discord, and showed all manner of interesting new features and tweaks. Like dialogue for trying to ride someone else’s horse:
Or a battle against Dark Link in a shrine:
It looked utterly amazing, and seemed to show just how far video game modding had moved on recently.
However, there was just one problem.
It wasn’t real. All those screenshots you see above… are just mock-ups. They’re basically mere concept art for the mod and what it might actually offer.
The mod itself isn’t actually in development yet.
And we know this because the REGNR8 YouTube channel actually interviewed the mod’s creator. Here’s their video where they talk to Fooni and go over his plans for the mod in general:
As you can clearly tell, it’s not exactly at the state shown in the pictures. Forget horse boarding messages or Dark Link fights in shrines, this one hasn’t even really been started yet!
What’s more, we should have known this already. Why?
Because journalists are supposed to research their stories. They’re meant to contact all parties involved and try and get their views on the matter before putting the thing live.
And if they’d done that here (By actually asking Fooni about the mod he was working on), they would have learnt the images were mock-ups there and then. Remember, he wasn’t promoting these images online that much. Nor was he going around claiming they were ‘exclusive’ previews of the mod as it stood there and then.
As the video itself says, just one person could have cleared all this up by getting an interview with the guy. One journalist who went out of his or her way to truly ‘research’ the story. One source who really gave a damn about good journalism.
But no one did. So because of this, everyone from Gamespot to IGN to Forbes and even the Daily Express are posting about these pictures as if they’re real. Yep, now even the UK papers are talking about this mod based on the fake pictures!
It’s a great case study in how good journalism practices have basically died out in the digital age.
Still, as bad as these examples are, it’s really me who should be disappointed here. Why?
Because interviews are our bread and butter on Gaming Reinvented! We’re known as the people who interview fan game and mod creators!
And I’m the only who usually conducts them. So to realise I was completely fooled by a bunch of fake screenshots… ones I could have identified had I bothered to set up a proper interview… is almost heart-breaking really.
The one time I decided not to interview a mod creator. The one time I thought I’d just let other people write about the story as is.
That was the one time where my interview could have changed the entire narrative.
So I’d like to apologise to everyone here. I failed you all with my previous coverage of this mod. My standards slipped, and I paid the price.
I will not make the same mistake again.
But hey, what do you think? Are you disappointed the pictures weren’t real?
Or did you secretly hope this mod really was just round the corner?
Post your thoughts on the matter here or on social media today!