source : The VergeVideo game publishers Take-Two Interactive and 2K Games have responded to allegations from popular YouTube creator SupMatto, who claimed he was unfairly and excessively targeted by the companies after he posted a series of videos, including leaked content from the upcoming game Borderlands 3.
“Take Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously,” a 2K representative told The Verge. “The action we’ve taken is the result of a 10-month investigation and a history of this creator profiting from breaking our policies, leaking confidential information about our product, and infringing our copyrights.” 2K is a subsidiary of Take-Two, and it handles publishing for Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series.
Although this is coming up now, the situation began in April, according to a detailed testimony of events from SupMatto, who is not disclosing his real name. A trailer for a Twitch extension called ECHOCast that could be used in Borderlands 3 included information for a private Twitch account that was being used to test the feature. The exposed accounts weren’t discovered by SupMatto, he pointed out, but were posted to forum sites like Reddit. Although the channel’s content wasn’t viewable, thumbnails were. SupMatto, who covers Borderlands quite a bit on his channel, used the thumbnails to make videos about Borderlands 3.
“The action we’ve taken is the result of a 10-month investigation and a history of this creator profiting from breaking our policies.”
Since the thumbnails were on Twitch, SupMatto believed they were public domain, but he then received several copyright strikes from 2K, he says. YouTube’s current copyright policies state that visual works “such as paintings, posters, and advertisements” all constitute copyrighted content. The copyright claims came after two private investigators, who he says were hired by Take-Two, allegedly came to SupMatto’s house on July 25th to discuss “various things relating to my channel, [and] the livestream that was discussed on my channel.” “I was very tense, as many of you could imagine, having two people in suits you don’t know show up at your home,” SupMatto said in a video on the issue.
2K representative declined to comment on whether private investigators contracted by its parent company were indeed sent to SupMatto’s house. Instead, 2K representative told The Verge the company will “take the necessary actions to defend against leaks and infringement of our intellectual property that not only potentially impact our business and partners.”
“The information he’s sharing about the situation is incomplete, and in some cases untrue,” the representative said. “Not only were many of his actions illegal, but they were negatively impacting the experiences of other content creators and our fans in anticipation for the game.”The situation has prompted backlash from both the creator and gaming communities. A hashtag — #boycottborderlands3 — started spreading on Twitter following the release of SupMatto’s video, and other commentary videos on the issue from fellow YouTube creators have helped the hashtag trend. The sentiment toward Gearbox and 2K has been increasingly negative of late following controversies and fallout related to its exclusivity deal with Epic Games for the PC release of the game, and this recent spat with a YouTuber is adding fuel to the fire.
“As an adult, as someone who’s thought about it, it was a pretty shitty thing to do.”
“I will add that since I’ve had time to reflect on the situation, I’d say excitement got the better of my judgment,” SupMatto said. “As an adult, as someone who’s thought about it, it was a pretty shitty thing to do.”
Following the alleged visit from investigators, SupMatto’s Discord account was terminated for being “involved in selling, promoting or distributing cheats, hacks or cracked accounts.” He voluntarily closed his Twitter account, too, and later dispelled rumors that Take-Two and 2K were behind the disappearance of his profile.
SupMatto says he’s seen how online communities, many with disparate motives, have latched on to his story and used it to further online crusades against 2K, Gearbox, and others. He says many people commenting on the issue are “exaggerating” or don’t have all the facts. As a result, after issuing his latest video, SupMatto says he’s taking time away from his online activities.
“I am absolutely on hiatus from making videos as I figure out what I want to do,” SupMatto said. “I want to give myself time to be depressed.”