This is just really interesting to me. Stern blunders every single release they do. This isn't something new. I assume what happens is they send out the pictures to distributors ahead of time so they can prepare their marketing material. A few of the distributors probably provide those to their whale customers that buy every LE since they're such a good customer - also known as the true Stern insider. Said customer then forwards picture to whoever and the rest is history.
What is completely baffling about this - is Stern is going to punish a fan and one that is freely promoting there product. How petty can you be? It isn't like this leak has any impact to Stern. They don't need to control the narrative. It's a pinball machine. Most people I know could give a shit less about pinball and I assume the general public is the same way. This is basically a bunch of rabid fans trying to get an early look. I don't understand what the big deal is.
Waiting to see the game from a Deadflip stream isn't going to change 50% of the people saying the new game is a dimpled piece of empty playfield carboard trash from Stern and the other 50% saying how they can't believe the amazing integration and theme. Every single release goes this way. They should just embrace it. Seems like they have no issue selling games even as poor as their marketing has been to this point.