A War Thunder fan leaked classified military documents during an argument on the developer’s message boards earlier this week.
War Thunder is an MMO that bills itself as “the most comprehensive free-to-play, cross-platform, military game dedicated to aviation, armored vehicles, and naval craft.” But according to a user who goes by Fear_Naught, the developers at Gaijin Entertainment apparently missed the mark while designing the Challenger 2.
“As I’ve stated a fair few times now, the complexity of the construction is sometimes difficult to see/show with pictures,” Fear_Naught wrote on July 14. “It is so complex in [the Challenger 2’s] case that I don’t completely blame Gaijin from getting it incorrect. All I try to do is point out the areas where they are incorrect.”
Shortly after, Fear_Naught—who is believed to be a commander in the Royal Tank Regiment of the United Kingdom—uploaded altered screenshots of documents they claimed were from the official AESP, or Army Equipment Support Publication, for the Challenger 2 tank.
The images were meant to be an example of where the developer went wrong on the in-game design but were eventually removed by Gaijin Entertainment due to the classified nature of the information shared.
A senior technical moderator named Templar wrote:
“We have written confirmation from [the Ministry of Defence] that this document remains classified. By continuing to disseminate it you are in violation of the Official Secrets Act as stated by the warning on the cover of the document, an offence which can carry up to a 14-year prison sentence if prosecuted. Of this you are already aware, as a service person you have signed a declaration that you understand the act and what actions it compels you to take. Every time you post this you place us (international representatives of Gaijin), especially any UK citizens, in hot water as the warning so helpfully states that unauthorized retention of a protected document is an offense.”
Gaijin Entertainment community manager Scott “Smin1080p” Maynard added that no changes will be made to the Challenger 2 tank in War Thunder, as the studio doesn’t base development off “invalid source material.”
Fear_Naught received a warning, and the thread was closed.
“Before any discussion, handling, or bug reports are even made, proof of a document’s declassification will be required as well as where it was sourced form,” Maynard explained. “We make it very clear that we will not handle any source material unless it is publicly available and fully declassified with the rights to prove that.”