2K confirms sending private investigators to Borderlands streamer's house

Yesterday, popular Borderlands 3 YouTuber SupMatto posted a video in which he claimed that two private investigators showed up at his home and questioned him on behalf of Take-Two Interactive about leaked Borderlands 3 content on his channel. In the video, SupMatto acknowledged sharing information that hadn't been officially revealed, but said that he came by it honestly, and that it was also available elsewhere.

"It's not some crafty workaround. On April 29 the official Borderlands YouTube channel posted the reveal of the Twitch extension leading into the gameplay reveal which we were all stoked about, and the names of the testing accounts were exposed in that video, as we've now learned," he says in the video. 

"This wasn't found by me, it was also posted on various platforms like Reddit and other social media—that's how it was brought to my attention—so quite a few of us decided to follow these accounts because, well, simply put, we could."

Based on that, it sounds like a fairly straightforward case of someone finding a loose thread and pulling, which is the sort of thing Gearbox tends to encourage. But 2K Games told IGN that it believes SupMatto and his followers did not simply stumble upon the information, but took advantage of a Twitch security exploit to capture screens of channel preview thumbnail that had been set to private in order to access it. 2K also revealed that it's actually been investigating him for almost a year.

"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," 2K said.

"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."

SupMatto also said that his channel was hit with seven copyright strikes the day after the stream in question, although all but one were subsequently removed, and his YouTube channel remains available. His Discord server was taken offline shortly after his encounter with the investigators, however, for allegedly being "involved in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts." 

SupMatto denied any wrongdoing in his video, but according to the IGN report Discord and Twitch have also been investigating his server and channel on their platforms. His Twitch channel remains active for now. I've emailed both for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

SupMatto has also deleted his Twitter account, and said he's taking a break from making YouTube videos in order to "decompress" and figure out where to go from here. 

"My plan is to see how I feel come September. I don't know if I want to play the game. I don't know if I want to make videos. I don't know where I'm gonna be at," he said, "I haven't been keeping up with anything, I haven't even watched the new character trailers. I'm still stoked for characters like FL4K and stuff, I just think I've been too close to the source for too long. I just need to step away from Borderlands, man."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.