It's common for leaks and scandals to develop odd, idiosyncratic names. This is especially true in the video game fandom, as we are seeing right now with the "Grinch Leak" that has taken over the Super Smash Bros. community.
So, why is this holiday cartoon character associated with a crossover fighting game series? Has the Dr. Seuss estate allowed one of their characters to join the Smash Bros. universe? Will we be seeing the Grinch go toe-to-toe with the likes of Cloud Strife and the Duck Hunt dog?
The History Of The Grinch Leak
A few days ago, a series of images that were distributed through Snapchat started making the rounds on sites like 4Chan and ResetEra. The images supposedly came from a guy who worked with a firm that interfaced with different media companies, one of which was Bandai Namco, which is working on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The images showed a previously unseen clean version of the background panorama that has been used to show all of the characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There was also another image showing all of the characters that will be included in the game, including new characters like Ken from Street Fighter, Geno from the Super Mario RPG, Banjo and Kazooie, Mach Rider, Shadow the Hedgehog, Isaac from Golden Sun, and the Chorus Kids from Rhythm Heaven.
These images immediately came under scrutiny for their bad quality, as it's easier to pass off a forgery when the image isn't clear. A lot of people have also denied its validity due to the lack of a new Pokémon representative.
"It came without Ridleys, it came without Gokus, it came without Banjos and Shadows and Kens"
The reason why this leak is referred to as the Grinch Leak is due to the fact that there are images from an upcoming CGI animated version of The Grinch, which is due to be released in most territories in November.
The presence of previously unseen promotional material for The Grinch and the fact that the thick black lines on the images are proof that they come from a legit publishing firm has been seen as a major piece of proof that the leak is real.
It's possible that this leak is still a fake and the leaker happened to be savvy enough about how promotional material is distributed to make a convincing copy of some using established assets from The Grinch, but many see it as an unnecessary extra step to take in trying to prove that a fake is real.
A lot of websites have tried to contact the person responsible for the leak, but most people have been loathe to give out his real name due to privacy reasons, which is why we won't mention it here either. What we do know is that he has since moved on to a different company that also works in creating & distributing promotional material for movies and games, so the matter is still unclear.
The Internet quickly took a shine to the Grinch Leak, which spawned a lot of fanart of the Grinch stealing the Smash Bros. announcements, which is partly why he has become so closely associated with Smash Bros. over the past week.
Nintendo has just announced that a Direct for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is coming on November 1st, so we won't have to wait much longer to see if the Grinch had truly spoiled the Smash Bros. roster for everyone.