YouTuber SupMatto recently released a video saying 2K sent private investigators to his house, part of a string of events that led to the closure of his Discord and several copyright strikes. But after a hashtag protest of Borderlands 3 gained traction on social media, 2K and Take-Two confirmed they were investigating the Borderlands content creator, saying there was more to the story.
In a YouTube video, SupMatto says this situation started when he was notified of a private Twitch account that was used in a trailer promoting a Twitch extension for Borderlands 3 by viewers. Some of these private accounts were posted to forums like Reddit, and though their content wasn't viewable, thumbnails were accessible. SupMatto then used these thumbnails to create videos.
Then on July 25, SupMatto says two private investigators contracted by Take-Two Interactive came to his house to discuss his channel. "They questioned me about various things relating to my channel, the livestream that was discussed on my channel," SupMatto says in his video. Following that, he says several copyright strikes were filed against his channel, and his Discord channel was shut down with the following notice: "Your account was involved in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts."
2K, however, alleges there's more to the story. In a statement to IGN, it confirmed these actions were the result of an investigation into the YouTuber's actions.
"Take Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously," a 2K spokesperson told IGN. "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."
SupMatto has posted multiple videos over the past year about Borderlands 3, some with accurate details about game mechanics well before the official reveal. SupMatto alleges the information he obtained was publicly accessible, but 2K tells IGN differently.
"The information he's sharing about the situation is incomplete, and in some cases untrue," the 2K spokesperson says. "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."
2K didn't specify exactly what laws SupMatto had broken, it did say the Twitch streams he had received his information from were set to private. It also took issue with his paid Discord, where users could get closer access to SupMatto and his leaks for a membership of $5.
Response to the video has risen through a hashtag "#boycottborderlands3," where fans claim they're protesting 2K's treatment of SupMatto by not purchasing the new Borderlands. Several have noted that the information from that stream source was publicly accessible, and that sending investigators to SupMatto's house was too far.
For now, the YouTuber is taking a break to "decompress." He says he'll reevaluate his position with Borderlands 3 and 2K when the game is out. But for Borderlands, this is one of several instances of friction leading up to the third game's release, including a feud with the former voice actor of Claptrap and multiple social media dust-ups with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. Borderlands 3 arrives September 13, but it's hard to think this is the last controversy we'll hear around the game before then.