The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom just leaked online ten days before release day

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom screenshot
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Anyone that’s excited for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is going to have to be careful in the ten days running up to the May 12 release date. Unfortunately the game has leaked online in its entirety, which means spoilers are already starting to spread over the internet.

Apparently some physical copies of the game were accidentally sold ahead of the release. So it didn’t take long for all the games files to appear online, allowing people to pirate the long-anticipated game and attempt to play it early.

Some users have even attempted to stream the game over Twitch or Discord, though the streams have since been pulled. There are also images and clips all over social media, ranging from fairly innocent things like the cartridge and case inserts to parts of the game Nintendo kept out of its official marketing — and could potentially spoil parts of the game.

There are also multiple physical copies of the game available on Mercari, with asking prices of $300. Twitter reveals that some of these listings have already been removed, and we doubt the ones we found will last very long either. We checked eBay to see what the deal is over there, but all we could find were pre-order listings, primarily of the collector’s edition and Zelda-themed Switch OLED bundle.

Nintendo has always been incredibly vigilant with protecting its IP, and having one of the year’s biggest Switch releases leak in this manner will no doubt have sent the relevant teams into overdrive for the next two weeks.

In fact Eurogamer notes that Nintendo has already been hard at work before this leak. Images from the official Tears of the Kingdom art book leaked via Discord last month. This prompted Nintendo’s lawyers to go after the messaging app in an attempt to uncover the identity of the leaker.

The Pokémon Company, which is part-owned by Nintendo, also pursued legal action against leaked details of the Pokémon Sword and Shield strategy guide back in 2021. That case ultimately ended with a settlement of $300,000 for damages and legal costs.

No doubt the company will crack open the champagne if it discovers the person or people responsible for leaking Tears of the Kingdom online. In the meantime, if you have any information about the game that isn’t from the official marketing, you better keep it to yourself — lest you incur the wrath of Nintendo’s legal team.

If you want to avoid Tears of the Kingdom spoilers, you’re going to want to stay off social media for the next couple of weeks. Or, at the very least, learn how to avoid spoilers on social media. Maybe you can replay Breath of the Wild to help pass the time?

More from Tom's Guide

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.