YouTuber Get’s Visited By Investigators Over Borderlands 3 Leaks

YouTuber Supmatto found himself talking about leaked information about Borderlands 3. Shortly after, he heard a knock on his door.

YouTuber, Supmatto, was reportedly excited over the upcoming Borderlands 3 release. So much so that he wound up being in possession of small bits of leaked information. While this was mixed in with speculation, that didn’t stop Take-Two interactive from issuing copyright strikes against his YouTube account. They then went even further and hired private investigators to go to his house and question him on top of it all. From Kotaku

Somers’ videos include playthroughs of the Borderlands series as well as tips, tricks, and an in-depth history series that explores the lore of the Borderlands universe. For the last year, Somers’ channel has also been home to Borderlands 3 leaks and speculation, which he always attributed to either unnamed sources or the work of a community of fans digging through SteamDB, a third-party data repository that shows the work being done behind-the-scenes to get games ready for the PC platform.

Wherever he was getting his information from, Somers got a lot of things right, including details about the four new playable characters, the presence of a radiation element for guns, and the development of a Borderlands 2 add-on that would bridge the gap between that game and the sequel. His videos were sometimes exaggerated and speculative, such as when he would fill time between major announcements with videos discussing shoulder patch similarities and character balance without having played the game. Nevertheless, there’s no arguing that he knew some good stuff about upcoming Borderlands content before it was officially announced. That’s why, when he took an extended break from uploading videos, the Borderlands community took notice.

In his return video, Somers goes into great detail about what happened to him, his YouTube channel, and his Discord server. Somers claims that on July 25, investigators showed up at his home in New Jersey and questioned him on behalf of the New York-based Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Borderlands publisher 2K Games. He describes being tense due to strangers trespassing on his private property and regrets having spoken with them. Somers allegedly answered questions about his channel and various information he had previously reported on, such as SteamDB developments and the Rainbow item rarity found in the game code before Fight for Sanctuary’s release. Later on, Somers says, he found the investigators and their private firm on LinkedIn, with indications that they had been contracted by Take-Two.

Supmatto went on to say that the hiatus will continue while he figures things out.

One question this does raise is whether or not this speculation about the game qualifies for journalistic activities. It’s not unprecedented that journalists get their hands on corporation information and reporting on it. After all, who could forget the ironic story of how Apple issuing a memo to employees warning them about leaks leaking online last year?

Of course, major outlets have mechanisms for protecting their journalists from potential threats like that. Meanwhile, an independent Youtuber might not get that same type of protection.

Another angle is the potential image this can create. That image being a big software company bullying around a small YouTuber online. That, of course, is almost a never good look especially since some would argue that the YouTuber is ultimately building hype around your product in the first place.

While the company may have scared a YouTuber, this incident really creates more problems for the developer more than anything else. At this point, the developer will definitely have to tread lightly on this one because there are plenty of ways this story can blowing up in their faces after.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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