British video game and tech website ‘Trusted Reviews’ has paid out a £1 million donation to various charities and apologised to Rockstar for a massive Red Dead Redemption 2 leak earlier this year. The leak detailed missions, mechanics, story details, and online multiplayer modes.
The original story now redirects to a direct apology aimed at Red Dead publisher Take-Two Interactive, saying “On February 6, 2018, we published an article that was sourced from a confidential corporate document. 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.”
Don’t worry though, the cached version still exists and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering exactly what they said. As it turns out, their leak was remarkably accurate, covering most of the key bases of Red Dead Redemption 2. Trusted Reviews also detailed Rockstar’s plans for Red Dead Online, although we still don’t know exactly what the online component is going to entail just yet aside from this leak.
Now, if you’re curious as to just why Trusted Reviews would hand over a million quid to charity, judging from Rockstar’s statement an agreement was met in order to avoid further legal action.
“Take-Two takes security seriously and will take legal action against people or publications who leak confidential information,” said Rockstar’s statement. “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 a really bizarre turn of events. Provided Trusted Reviews hadn’t signed any non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with Rockstar, which seems unlikely all the way back in February, then it has no legal obligation to keep Rockstar’s secrets, well, secret. There is literally nothing wrong with exposing information that you come into possession of, unless the publication itself obtained the information illegally, such as through theft. This move has worrying implications and could have quite a chilling effect on leaks, and the publication of these leaks.
Is Take-Two right to protect its property like this? Or are leaks fair game for third-parties that are unaffiliated with Take-Two or Rockstar? Let us know your thoughts!