TrustedReviews has pulled a Red Dead Redemption 2 article that was released back in February for leaking unannounced gameplay details before the game’s launch.
TrustedReviews’ article detailed that the game would feature a first-person viewpoint and a battle royale mode, the latter of which has not been announced or debunked at this point in time.
Yesterday, TrustedReviews took down the article, released an official apology and donated £1 million to a charity of Rockstar’s choice.
“On February 6, 2018, we published an article that was sourced from a confidential corporate document,” the apology says. ” 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.”
Rockstar’s actions against TrustedReviews are undeniably questionable. Many games, Rockstar or otherwise, are leaked, frequently so. It is unclear if TrustedReviews were breaking any law in publishing this information. While initially sourced from a confidential document back in August 2017, the publication waited until the information was validated by official promotional material before publishing.
Rockstar said in a statement to Variety that “Take-Two takes security seriously and will take legal action against people or publications who leak confidential information.”
It’s a scary time when the job of a games journalist is pulled into legal action by a publisher, and a £1 million settlement is far from a small ask from Rockstar. Many would say that TrustedReviews’ coverage of the topic is protected by journalistic rights, such as the public interest defense, in the United Kingdom, but that would have to be proven in a court of law.