Marcus Sellars is a self-proclaimed industry insider. In the past few months, he's gained a following for "leaking" information in regards to video game giant Nintendo, with this information alluding to possible game announcements and reveals. Cumulatively he's garnered over 10,000 followers in just a few months by revealing information pertaining to games coming to the Nintendo Switch.
The above is a tweet (that has since been deleted) posted in December, in which Sellars had stated that a long-rumored Dark Souls remaster would be announced for the Nintendo Switch during a specific Bandai Namco event. The event came and went, but there was no announcement of a Dark Souls remaster on the Nintendo Switch until the official unveiling of Dark Souls Remastered during a Nintendo Direct in January. Following the initial Bandai Namco event, Polygon wrote an article detailing that while Sellars' tweet had no factual backing aside from his unverified "sources," it had still gained plenty of traction on Twitter, Reddit, and other forums. The rumor spread not because it was credible, but because it was what fans wanted.
Connor is an online content creator. Having made videos since 2014 on his YouTube channel, he specializes in gameplay walkthroughs, reviews, and reactions. He has worked with Source Gaming, a popular site for reporting on news and rumors regarding Nintendo's series Super Smash Bros, and eventually aspired to move onto streaming on Twitch. Recently, Connor's channel (ConnorEatsPants) has received a surge in popularity for calling out "industry insider" Marcus Sellars for circulating false information.
It all started when Connor had made a plan to reveal that Sellars had been posting false rumors and speculation about Nintendo. Connor thinks that the Nintendo fanbase "is a funny thing," expressing that there are plenty of awesome people and content creators that focus on Nintendo. Yet, he also notes that the fan base includes people who believe the company can do no wrong, and as a result, they do not accept any criticism for it.
Connor believed that these constructs were what contributed towards Marcus Sellars' popularity from sharing sometimes false information surrounding Nintendo, as rumors regarding vaguely possible information were mostly positive statements about the plans that the company may or may not have had. He noticed that Sellars also had a habit of removing tweets whenever they ended up being proven false, acting like he had never made those predictions in the first place. To test his hypothesis that Sellars was making false claims about Nintendo, he decided to try his luck and see if he could have Sellars leak false Smash Bros Switch information that was fed directly from him.
Connor was initially surprised at how easy it was to get Sellars' attention. He had reached out to Sellars on his Discord channel, where a group of fans feverishly discussed the leaks which Sellars had posted on his Twitter, and almost instantaneously received a response. This made Connor think that Marcus may just be a bad journalist who didn't screen his sources properly, and felt like he shouldn't feed him false info on purpose.
Connor began planting seeds with false information, stating that while he thought that Marcus was "mostly harmless," he had overstepped boundaries by not disclosing obvious sponsorships and promotions to his community. This made him look at the situation in a new light, as he moved forward with sharing false details to Sellars containing information of the upcoming Super Smash Bros title coming to Nintendo Switch.
It all came to a head when Marcus eventually posted a tweet reflecting the information provided to him by Connor, detailing that Smash Bros Switch would "see the return of Ice Climbers and will feature a story mode modeled around 2-player co-op." Two days later Connor came forward stating that he was Sellars' independent source.
No, the Smash “leaks” from Marcus Sellars aren’t real. How do I know? I’ve been his fake source this whole time rofl. Don’t keep falling for fake “leakers”. pic.twitter.com/X7m3dZ49rg
— ConnorEatsPants (@ConnorEatsPants) March 31, 2018
GameRevolution reached out to Sellars regarding the accusations from Connor, with him expressing that his side of the story seems "far-fetched." Sellars pointed out that he had been sent a great deal of information from Connor, and only two bits of information overlapped (the Ice Climbers and 2-player story mode).
Sellars expressed that he had separate sources apart from Connor, though didn't provide details of these sources to us when requested. Recently, his reports that PlayStation 5 dev-kits were being sent out to third-party developers have been contradicted by Kotaku's published story, in which Jason Schreier asked numerous developers about its possible existence, with Schreier's sources responding with laughter to the claims that dev-kits had been distributed. However, the Kotaku story also noted that primitive dev-kits may have been sent out, though these claims haven't been officially confirmed for obvious reasons.
Connor thinks that Sellars should accept that he's made a lot of mistakes in the past few months, advising that he should work harder to vet his sources. Connor feels that Sellars doesn't have anything preventing him from continuing to publish info even after these incidents, so if Sellars really has access to inside sources, then he can definitely build back up his credibility as a leaker.
We also had the chance to talk to PushDustIn about Sellars. He expressed that while he doesn't completely blame Sellars for misdirecting people, he believes that much of the blame lies with sites that report on his unfounded rumors. He went on to echo that Sellars' leaks were purposefully vague, sarcastically adding: "What? A new Call of Duty game? Oh my God!"
Even among these safe predictions, PushDustIn pointed out that Sellars ended up getting a lot of information wrong. When on Sellar's Discord channel, which still boasts around 300-400 active online users, PushDustIn alleged that Sellars would commit to this wrong information. When it was proven to be false, Sellars would reportedly state that he never shared the information in the first place.
A story in four parts. pic.twitter.com/hBI0xPGHwh
— PushDustIn (@PushDustIn) February 12, 2018
"A full direct is coming soon," Sellars wrote in his Discord channel. A week later he stated: "I can confirm there will be a Direct on February, but that is all for today." When faced with skepticism, Sellars doubled down on his prediction: "Nintendo don't push back directs. They are planned months in advance." Yet at the beginning of February, with no Nintendo Direct in sight, Sellars backpedaled: "I have no idea when the [Nintendo Direct] is. I've never spoken of it. I only know that South Park will be in the next direct."
While South Park: The Fractured But Whole was eventually revealed to be coming to the Nintendo Switch in March's Direct presentation, PushDustIn felt as if this should've been the defining moment in which Sellars was outed for sharing false info, with him failing to acknowledge that he was wrong.
Liam Robertson has made content for Did You Know Gaming?, and is most commonly known as the voice and video producer behind Unseen64. When asked about Sellars, Liam stated that he previously thought Sellars was a nice guy, though had always been concerned about his behavior. Robertson claimed that Sellars would piggyback off of rumors and reiterated what others had said before, expressing that Sellars is irresponsible with the information he distributes to his audience.
The now-dormant Twitter account Vandal_Leaks revealed that a Nintendo Direct presentation would take place in March, and according to Robertson, the account reached out to him and Sellars privately in order to see if they had heard anything similar from their own sources. While Robertson replied that he had received no information regarding the Direct, Sellars reportedly led his followers to believe that the information was from his exclusive source, rather than Vandal_Leaks.
There will be a Nintendo Direct this Thursday. (8th March)
— Marcus Sellars (@Marcus_Sellars) March 6, 2018
"He just took what Vandal had said and ran it as his rumor without crediting him," Robertson wrote in an email to us. "Since Marcus had a larger following than Vandal, he was overshadowed. Marcus cannot prove to me or to anyone that he had actual sources at Nintendo telling him it was on that date. That's the fact of the matter. He cannot prove anything because they don't exist. There is no arguing with that because he can't prove otherwise."
GameRevolution reached out to Sellars again regarding Robertson's claims that he was "irresponsible with his information," though we didn't receive a response to these comments.
Connor left me with a few last comments regarding the believability of certain leaks and rumors. He thinks that Nintendo's fans should always remember that often with rumor reports, the truth isn't so black and white.
He touched upon Kotaku News Editor Laura Kate Dale's leaks prior to the initial Nintendo Switch reveal, noting that Dale had made plenty of educated predictions and drummed up a great deal of excitement prior to the event. Connor added that while she had received some false information, she ultimately got many things spot on, such the existence of Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and the release date of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. In conclusion, Connor expressed that while rumors are fun, "it's important to take everything with a grain of salt."