The leaking drama surrounding Bethesda's eagerly awaited game, Starfield, has culminated in a not-so-shocking turn of events. The man responsible for unveiling the first glimpse of the game now finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Darin Harris, 29, was recently booked on a felony charge for his alleged involvement in attempting to sell stolen copies of the game.
Moronic Thief Facing Serious Felony Charges Selling Stolen Starfield Copies Early
Before the official release of Starfield on September 1, Harris shook the gaming world by releasing the initial 45 minutes of gameplay footage. Not long after, on August 24, the Shelby County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office apprehended and processed him.
According to the Sheriff Office's website, Harris faces a felony charge linked to the possession of stolen property valued between $2,500 and $10,000. In addition, he is also charged with two misdemeanors, one for having stolen property worth $1,000 or less and another for marijuana possession.
Per Kotaku, attempts to get a comment from Harris proved fruitless, both Bethesda and Microsoft have also remained silent on the issue.
The unauthorized leak from Harris, which showcased the much-anticipated open-world sci-fi RPG, spread like wildfire on August 22. Even as YouTube removed the video due to copyright violations, snippets of the footage continued to circulate on social media platforms. This is the internet, after all. Many quickly noticed that Harris seemed unfamiliar with the game's mechanics and appeared novice-like in his gameplay approach.
Responding to the reactions, Harris later released another video stating, “Todd [Howard, Starfield game director], no offense man, that’s a good game… I was just trying something out."
However, the plot thickened when Harris started to advertise more game copies for sale online. He even listed the much sought-after Constellation Edition, boasting a unique NASA-punk space watch, on the Japanese e-commerce site, Mercari (his store here). The listings even indicated some of the copies as being sold. Yet, this raised questions among fans: How did he acquire multiple early copies? Doubts about the authenticity of the sales emerged, leading many to speculate about a potential scam.
Harris, in subsequent videos, showcased himself shipping the games that allegedly got sold. One particular video caught him labeling packages with a stack of Starfield copies visible beside him. He openly challenged skeptics, stating, “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."
However, by August 24, a noticeable retreat from the public eye began as Harris wiped his social media profiles clean, removing all videos related to the leak. The looming question remains: Did Bethesda or its owner, Microsoft, flag the issue to the authorities? Or were Harris' legal troubles entirely separate from his activities concerning Starfield?
Presently, no additional details or future hearing dates related to Harris' case are available, but one thing is for sure... This dude ain't no criminal mastermind.