Home Gaming British website forks out £1 million over Red Dead Redemption 2 leak

British website forks out £1 million over Red Dead Redemption 2 leak

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Leaked information on upcoming video games is especially good if you happen to have an inside source who can spill a few beans that serves the public in terms of information that they should know about. It’s a sure-fire way to have a blockbuster story that gets tongues wagging and more eyeballs on your website, but it does have some downsides. Just ask Kotaku and their blacklisting by Ubisoft over their big reveal of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

Here’s the thing: Leaks rarely lead to major court cases. Blacklisting is usually the worst thing that can happen to a website as it finds itself shut out by a publisher, but the idea of being slapped with a hefty bill? Unheard of, until yesterday when website Trusted Reviews and their parent company TI Media forked out £1 million to charity after they published confidential information regarding Red Dead Redemption 2 back in February from a leaked internal document from Rockstar Games.

“On February 6, 2018, we published an article that was sourced from a confidential corporate document,” Trusted Reviews wrote in a post.

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We should have known this information was confidential and should not have published it. We unreservedly apologise to Take-Two Games and we have undertaken not to repeat such actions again. We have also agreed to donate over £1 million to charities chosen by Take-Two Games.

“Take-Two takes security seriously and will take legal action against people or publications who leak confidential information,” a Rockstar Games spokesperson said to Kotaku.

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Because this situation involved information about Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games directed the settlement funds to these three great charities: the American Indian College Fund, the American Prairie Reserve, and the First Nations Development Institute.

It’s not just unusual to see a website apologising for something that’s a commonplace occurrence in the video game news industry, but to see such a staggering sum of cash paid out once the court case dust had settled. You could argue that the writer of such articles shouldn’t have leaked the information in the document, but that’s a matter that’s up to the journalist who has the option of finding information that the public should know about, even if developers don’t want it out in the open before launch.

On the other hand, how was this information obtained? Was it done through some illegal pilfering? There’s so much more to the story that we don’t know about it, but it still does set a very worrying precedent for press freedom abroad.

Last Updated: November 2, 2018

9 Comments

  1. Geoffrey Tim

    November 2, 2018 at 07:46

    This is such a fuck up of a story. There may be more to it, but from what I gather an anonymous source emailed the documents to Trusted Reviews, meaning that the site never signed a non disclosure. It makes this a terrible precedent.

    Reply

    • Greylingad{EXPLOSIONS!}

      November 2, 2018 at 08:21

      As there is no actual screenshot of the original doc, it’s anyone’s guess, but if it’s anything to go by, most internal documents should be branded as confidential etc. knowingly leaking such information is not only a dick move, but should already set off alarms of all hell breaking loose if published (original doc or otherwise…), another way of approaching it is to contact said publisher/studio to ask whether the info is legit, otherwise you are setting yourself up for a court case…

      Reply

      • Geoffrey Tim

        November 2, 2018 at 08:35

        Oh, it’s definitely a DICK MOVE. We’ve seen all manner of leaks posted before, but nothing’s attracted legal attention like this.

        Reply

        • Greylingad{EXPLOSIONS!}

          November 2, 2018 at 08:41

          *cough*Ro*cough*ck*cough*sta*cough*r…

          Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      November 2, 2018 at 08:31

      Remember, your banking details including pin are also confidential.
      If I get it from internal or a hacker and use it then by your logic you will have no recourse

      Reply

  2. cloudzn

    November 2, 2018 at 07:53

    I say excellent, and hope it will discourage other websites from leaking confidential game development information

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      November 2, 2018 at 08:05

      It’s not game sites job to protect information. This would just make game sites function even more as PR and marketing. It’s honestly hot bullshit, especially as it seems Take Two doesn’t actually have a legal leg to stand on; they just have more money and better legal representation. Media could reasonably argue its in the public interest, but taking that to court is unfathomably costly.

      Reply

      • HvR

        November 2, 2018 at 12:10

        TI media has annual turnover of over R5billion a year and nice healthy profit margin so think they could have fought this in court if they had a chance.

        So think the journalist fooked up here.

        Also remember we are talking the UK here, where civil freedoms has been taking major hits the last 2 decades and press freedom was not excluded in the government tightening of the noose. BBC, Guardian all taken major hits in loosing court cases for similar actions.

        Reply

  3. Guz

    November 2, 2018 at 09:15

    When all is said and done i”m just glad the money is going to charity, silver linings 🙂

    Reply

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