#BoycottBorderlands3 became a recent trending hashtag after video game YouTuber SupMatto revealed that Take-Two Interactive, the holding company of Borderlands 3 publishers 2K Games, had sent private investigators to his house to question the YouTuber over leaks of Borderlands 3 material.
The catalyst to this conflict was the April 29th announcement of the Borderlands 3 ECHOcast Twitch extension. While the stream showed how players could use the extension to interact with Twitch livestreams while playing Borderlands 3, others, including SupMatto, noticed that the account names for the test server players were publicly visible:
SupMatto reinforced the information’s ease of availability, stating that it was not found by “some crafty work-around.”
“It’s not some crafty work-around. On April 29th the official Borderlands YouTube channel posted the reveal of the Twitch extension leading into the gameplay reveal… and the name of the testing accounts were exposed in that video. This wasn’t found by me.”
For his part, SupMatto would then follow the accounts on Twitch and extract screenshots and information from the auto-generated thumbnails that appeared when the test account entered a private test stream of Borderlands 3.
SupMatto then states that, on July 25th, two private investigators whom were contracted by Take-Two appeared on his doorstep and questioned him regarding the leaks, specifically touching upon “the livestream that was discussed on my channel.” Following the questioning which left SupMatto “tense and uneasy,” SupMatto found that “within maybe 20 minutes” of the investigators’ visit his Discord server and account had been terminated for “being involved in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts,” while his YouTube channel received “seven copyright strikes” (of which only one still remains against his channel) the following day.
These events led to SupMatto personally deleting his Twitter account in an attempt to “limit the amount of questions, community theory crafting, and so on,” though he admits that this did little to curb these discussions. Due to this event, SupMatto has also declared that he is “absolutely on hiatus from making videos while I figure out what I want to do” to allow him to “decompress,” with a plan to revisit his goals and options in September.
While SupMatto remains a little disappointed in the situation, he also states that leaking the information “was a bit of a shitty thing to do.”
“Since I’ve had time to reflect on the situation, I’d say excitement got the better of my judgment, and for those who will say I’m just salty it got me caught or shutdown or whatever, I’m a human being. Naturally, it’s disappointing. But, as an adult, as somebody who’s thought about it, yeah, it was a bit of a shitty thing to do.
Following the trending of the #BoycottBorderlands3 hashtag, Take-Two issued a statement to IGN, claiming that the action taken against SupMatto was part of a 10-month investigation into Borderlands 3 leaks and that the streamer is either lying or withholding information about the incident:
“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. The information he’s sharing about the situation is incomplete, and in some cases untrue. 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. We will take the necessary actions to defend against leaks and infringement of our intellectual property that not only potentially impact our business and partners, but more importantly may negatively impact the experiences of our fans and customers.”