Borderlands 3 Boycott Stirred After Allegations that Publisher 2K Targeted YouTuber (Updated)

YouTuber SupMatto states that 2K hired Private Investigators Confront him

By Grayshadow, Posted 07 Aug 2019

Publishers and developers go to great lengths to protect sensitive information regarding future and current projects. Some share that information only after having the party sign an NDA. However, some information can be tracked down using legitimate means and according to SupMatto, he did this but to great consequence. With 2K sending private investigators to his home to question him.

Borderlands 3,NoobFeed,

According to SupMatto, the conflict began on April 29th, 2019 during an official stream on Twitch for Borderlands 3. The clip featured names of tester accounts on Twitch to thousands of people and covered by not only SupMatto but other individuals on social media. SupMatto made note that this information was shown to over 185,000 viewers.

On Thursday, July 25th, SupMatto stated he was approached by 2 private investigators contracted by 2K at his home. They asked him how he obtained the information and SupMatto told his audience that "I was very tense, as many of you could imagine, having two people in suits you don't know show up at your home,".

Things got even more frantic when SupMatto received 7 copyright strikes the following day manually from 2K. For those unaware, if someone obtains 4 copyright strikes within the span of 3 months their channel is deleted on YouTube. In addition, his Discord was completely shut down within hours of the P.I.'s leaving for being "involved in selling, promoting or distributing cheats, hacks or cracked accounts." 6 of the copyright strikes were lifted by unknown means but 1 remains according to SupMatto.

SupMatto addressed that his Twitter was shut down by him to limit the theories and questions around his disappearance. SupMatto ended explaining that he's taking a hiatus following the situation given what happened.

Within hours this story was covered by multiple YouTubers and began to spread, with the #boycottborderlands3 beginning to surface.

2K or developer Gearbox Software has not provided an official statement about the situation but if this happens to be true it's not a good look for either. Not only did SupMatto simply follow public available information but did not sign an NDA. Which makes the entire situation that more alarming.

Updated 8/8/2019

Statements were provided by IGN regarding the story. 2K stated:

“Take Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously. 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 copyright,” a 2K Games representative said.

The issue with this statement is that the information uncovered by SupMatto were not private but available to the public. At least based on the information that he provided. In addition, the information SupMatto followed up on was not originally released by him but exposed to the public to which SupMatto and other users followed upon.

In addition, the 2K representative stated that SupMatto's actions were "illegal".

“The information he’s sharing about the situation is incomplete, and in some cases untrue,” a 2K representative said in a statement to IGN. “Not only were many of his actions illegal, but they were negatively impacting the experience of other content creators and our fans in anticipation for the game.”

However, 2K still sent private investigators. If SupMatto did do something illegal then P.I.s would not be needed. Instead, it would be logical that 2K would send a cease and desist letter through their legal team.

What is truly shocking is that IGN stated: "Since SupMatto's encounter with 2K's private investigators, we've learned that he has deleted several (not all) of the Borderlands 3 videos containing leaked information from his YouTube channel, seemingly without rhyme or reason." But a multi-billion company just attempted to destroy his livelihood. Fear would be a natural response and his actions do sound prudent.

The entire article seems like a negative piece to paint SupMatto as doing something illegal when he used the information available to the public. From SupMatto's video, he simply followed the equivalent of digital breadcrumbs. 

New information from Inside Gaming states they were given information that SupMatto was indeed selling sensitive information about Borderlands 3 by becoming a "Join" member on YouTube. For those unaware, "Join" is when you support a channel with a monthly recurring payment. In addition, the team contacted a law firm that stated SupMatto may be legally liable for exploiting a security flaw. Hence the thumbnails on Twitch's private stream option.

With this new information, if proven correct, SupMatto would indeed be liable for profiting from this leaked information. 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Borderlands 3

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Developer(s): Gearbox Software
Genres: FPS
Themes: Looter-Shooter
Release Date: 2019-09-13

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