On 6 August, SupMatto, a popular YouTuber in the Borderlands community, uploaded a video in which he gave a sliver of insight and afterthoughts on a series of interactions he had with Take-Two and its subsidiary 2K Games, the developers and publishers of the Borderlands franchise. In his video, SupMatto says that two private investigators dropped by his home on 25 July and questioned him about various Borderlands-related things on his channel and a specific live stream of his.
According to SupMatto’s testimony of events, the interactions between him and Take-Two, are the result of a handful of retrospectively “sh*tty” actions he committed beginning in late April. According to 2K Games, “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.”
In his video, SupMatto highlights and offers his view of events in the timeline that began on 29 April. On that day, the official Borderlands YouTube channel uploaded a trailer for a Twitch extension called ECHOCast that could be used in Borderlands 3. In the trailer, the Borderlands team accidentally exposed the names of testing accounts that were being used to test the extension. As per SupMatto, the testing accounts, whose names looked like random keyboard smashes, weren’t found by him and were even posted on platforms like Reddit – that’s how he says he stumbled upon them. He then claims that since he and many others had access to one of the Twitch accounts, he assumed it was public domain. “It’s not some crafty workaround,” he stated. These testing accounts granted users a window of access to somewhat limited unreleased gameplay and information on Borderlands 3. Apparently, the videos on the accounts weren’t viewable, so SupMatto then used the thumbnail images of the videos in the account to make a video about the upcoming Borderlands 3.
That’s how SupMatto painted his experience in his video. He came about some publicly accessible content that wasn’t officially released and shared the information via live stream which led to quite the conundrum. According to Take-Two, however, things aren’t as simple as he painted them in his video. “The information he’s sharing about the situation [in his new video] 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.” 2K Games told IGN that it doesn’t believe SupMatto simply stumbled upon the information, but rather that he exploited a Twitch security fallacy that revealed the thumbnails of the videos in the account that was in fact, according to 2K Games, ‘private,’ unlike what SupMatto claims. Considering that this is an ongoing investigation, 2K is being understandably particular about what it’s sharing about the situation. Although the firm hasn’t explained or specified what ‘illegal [actions]’ SupMatto has committed (besides the use of copyrighted content), according to IGN, sources have reported that SupMatto was offering additional Borderlands 3 leaks and info through access to his private Discord server for a $5 membership to his YouTube channel.
The conflict lead to SupMatto’s Discord server being taken offline, minutes after the private investigators left his house, on the grounds that he was, “involved in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts.” After his live stream, his YouTube account was hit with seven copyright strikes which could’ve spelled the termination of his account, had six of these strikes not been subsequently retracted. His Twitch account, like his Youtube account, is still active but under investigation, and Twitter was the only account that SupMatto decided to delete himself.
As can be seen throughout the video, these events have definitely rattled the YouTuber. Speaking on the Twitch testing account, SupMatto admits that excitement got the better of him, and he probably should’ve handled the situation better. After all that’s happened, he stated that he needs a break from the franchise and goes on to show that his love for the Borderlands series is currently not as profound as it’s always been. He doesn’t even know if he’ll play the upcoming Borderlands 3. He’ll be taking a hiatus from uploading on YouTube as he’ll be giving himself time to decompress and figure out what he wants to do.