A player of Gaijin Entertainment’s MMO combat simulator, War Thunder, has once again leaked confidential military documents on the game’s forum, according to UK Defense Journal (via PC Gamer). The leak details a secret piece of Chinese military hardware: The DTC10-125, a 125mm sabot round. The DTC10-125 is compatible with various Chinese MBTs and is excellent at taking out enemy tanks. The player behind the leaks didn’t just post the DTC10-125’s documentation–they posted a photo of its documentation with the projectile in question sitting right on top of the paperwork. Naturally, Chinese authorities are not pleased.
But contrary to what one might think, this move wasn’t a calculated attack on the Chinese government motivated by some political ideology. No, the reason these classified details were leaked was because War Thunder’s in-game version of the classified projectile wasn’t accurate enough. A perceived lack of accuracy was also the motive when War Thunder forum members leaked specs of the UK’s Challenger 2 tank in July 2021, and later leaked the classified details of a French tank in October 2021.
War Thunder is known for its detailed approximations of real-life military equipment.
Notably, it’s possible that these so-called inaccuracies were just placeholder values not meant to represent the final in-game product. A Resetera forum user known as Nobleman Swerve gave a potential explanation for the inaccuracies, explaining that Gaijin Entertainment has recently shut down a development server that was accessible to the public and previewed upcoming content, and that this server could be the source of all the confusion.
“The game recently closed a publicly accessible development server that previewed the upcoming content drop,” the forum user explained. “The thing about these dev servers is that the values for things such as armor, penetration, or flight models are usually placeholders subject to change on final release. So what happens was the developer added this shell to the server, but copy/pasted the values of the previous version as a placeholder. This poster saw this, flipped out, and went ahead and posted treason to correct what are publicly communicated as placeholder values.”
In a statement given to PC Gamer, Gaijin Entertainment explained that the post containing the leaked military intel was removed as soon as the game studio became aware of it, and the user responsible for the leaked photograph was immediately banned. Later, Gaijin Entertainment released a statement publicly addressing the issue and pleading with War Thunder players to refrain from doing anything illegal in the future.
“While we understand that our players want the game to be as realistic as possible, we’re kindly asking them not to do anything illegal and jeopardize their safety, as well as [the] safety of our community team members.” claimed the developers. “The developers of War Thunder do their best to research information on vehicles using legally available tools, and scandals like this are clearly not useful for our efforts.”