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Rather than brush it under the rug, HoYoVerse comes out and addresses Zenless Zone Zero concept art leak and teases official reveal

Concept art of two factions was leaked online. HoYoVerse, surprisingly, has decided to acknowledge this head-on.

HoYoVerse has publically acknoledged Zenless Zone Zero concept art leaks that have been circulating the internet as of late. Rather than keep its cards close to the chest, the company has instead opted to pull back the curtain just a little bit by pointing out which portions of the leaks have made it into the full game, and teasing when we'll learn more about the tidbits we've seen.

This concept art (which we won't include here - it is leaked assets after all) features early images of characters from unnannounced factions. The situation surrounding these characters was elaborated on via a public post by the company on Bilibli. You can see this art yourself at the bottom of the post, if you're okay with spoilers.

The following statement comes from a member of the ZZZ dev team and is written in Chinese. It has been roughly translated via Google, so don't assume it's definitely word-for-word accurate, but instead something to help give you the gist of the situation. "After verification, it was found that the other party used illegal means to obtain our development materials, including some of our undisclosed character design concept drafts during character production. We are very sorry for this. So, we made a decision that went against the past - rather than covering it up, it was better to disclose it openly."

The first batch of concept art showcases three characters from an upcoming idol faction, which apparently were designed due to a large number of the development team's love for idols and idol culture. These characters will apparently also show up in future ZZZ broadcasts, so you should be able to catch a proper look at them soon.

Then, there was some concept art of a second faction. The "Sons of Calydon" are a faction the dev team were messing around with, although much of the content that was leaked has since been abandoned. However, the developer statement does note that these Sons of Calydon should hopefully show up in ZZZ broadcasts, perhaps even by the public beta (though you shouldn't take this as gospel - early dev timelines change all the time).

The statement ends on a sad note, as the developer emphasises that this isn't how the team wanted this information to get out into the public. However, for what it's worth, I do quite like this approach to leaks. For years, HoYoVerse has been battling leaks and leakers - often by taking a massive hammer to any website or social media platform that hosts leaks, and putting pressure on leakers, who sometimes end up deleting their online presences. But, even with this strong armed approach, leaks have continued flowing from HoYoVerse games. You can't blow up every Discord server, after all.

So if the leaks are out there, managing expectations and reaching out to fans in this kind of transparent fashion might just be the way to go. We'll see. Either way, it looks like there's a lot to look forward to in future beta tests and ZZZ livestreams, so we'll have to sit tight and wait for those to see more.

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