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Man Who Leaked First 45 Minutes Of Starfield Booked On Felony Charges

The leaker has been taken into custody after allegedly attempting to sell stolen property--which may have been copies of the game.


The long-awaited launch of Starfield--Bethesda's first new IP in over two decades--is almost here. But some players just can't wait anymore, including Dan Harris, the man who allegedly leaked the first 45 minutes of the game earlier this week. 29-year-old Harris has now taken things even further, reportedly listing stolen copies of the game for sale online--but this time, it seems, he's facing consequences.

According to the official website for the Shelby County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office, Harris was arrested on August 24, just a few days after leaking the Starfield footage. First reported by Kotaku, the site confirms Harris is facing one felony charge for possession of stolen property worth $2,500-$10,000, a misdemeanor charge for possession of stolen property worth $1,000 or less, and one misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana. It's worth noting that the publicly available booking records do not mention Starfield by name, but it's not a drastic leap to assume that's what the stolen property was.

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Now Playing: Starfield Direct – 45 Minute Gameplay Deep Dive

One thing viewers of the leak immediately noticed what the fact that Harris seemingly did not know how to play the game, appearing to be entirely unfamiliar with standard RPG mechanics. He explained this via a follow-up video in which he addressed Bethesda Game Studios director and executive producer Todd Howard, and even shared his thoughts on the quality of the game itself.

"Todd, no offense man, that’s a good game," Harris said of Bethesda's upcoming sci-fi RPG. "[The viewers of the leaked footage] were saying I play like a beginner 'cause 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."

It's possible that the charges are unrelated to the Starfield leaks, though it's hard to imagine Bethesda letting Harris' actions go unpunished, especially given the fact that he allegedly took things a step further by selling stolen copies of the game online via his Mercari account, which currently shows several copies of the game listed as "sold." It's unclear how Harris came into possession of these copies, or if they're fakes, but items for sale even included the coveted Constellation Edition.

In response to skepticism about the legitimacy of the Starfield copies, Harris posted several additional videos depicting him heading to FedEx to ship out some orders.

"Y'all thought I’d be out here putting stuff on the internet and it ain't real? Nah baby, that ain't how we do it, that ain't how we do that," Harris explained. "Y'all used to playing with little boys."

But just days later, sometime between August 23-24, Harris' social media posts began disappearing. It's possible this was done by the various social media sites' moderation teams rather than Harris himself, given the fact that his Mercari account--which displays evidence of Harris selling Starfield copies--is still up, though there are no additional items currently available for purchase.

It's unclear whether Microsoft and/or Bethesda tipped off Shelby County law enforcement, or if Harris' arrest was related to other stolen goods. In the latter case, Harris could soon be facing even more legal trouble, should Bethesda choose to press charges.

Starfield will be available for PC and Xbox Series X|S on September 6, 2023. Players who preorder the Premium Edition or Constellation Edition will gain access to the game a full five days early, on August 31 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. Game Pass subscribers can also gain early access by paying to upgrade to the Premium Edition for $34.99 USD.

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