The newest Borderlands 3 controversy is the strangest one yet, and it might be the one that finally forces 2K Games to take action, as fans have begun a #boycottborderlands3 movement on Twitter that trended worldwide and has brought scores of new negative publicity to the title. Borderlands 3, despite previewing extremely well during hands-on sessions across exclusive events and the E3 showfloor, has nevertheless experienced an extremely troubled development thanks to outside factors.
A number of high-profile implosions on behalf of developer Gearbox Software, mostly linked to boss Randy Pitchford, have already dulled enthusiasm for what appears to be one of the year's biggest game releases. Pitchford is at the center of a lawsuit surrounding a possible - and secret - $12 million bonus paid to himself, and has also made headlines for attacking gaming news publication Game Informer after alleging it had misinterpreted his definition of microtransactions. Somehow, that's not even the entirety of Pitchford's 2019 - he also found himself at the center of a major controversy when ex-Claptrap voice actor David Eddings accused Pitchford of physical assault.
Now, Gearbox has another major controversy on its hands. According to YouTuber and Borderlands content creator SupMatto, representatives from 2K Games allegedly accosted him for using development stream codes that have been available to the public for months now. SupMatto states that the confrontation began on April 29, when SupMatto covered leaked details from tester accounts attached to the Borderlands 3 Twitch extension. According to SupMatto, on July 25, he was approached by two private eyes contracted by 2K that questioned him about leaks and other gameplay details. SupMatto would then receive seven copyright strikes on his YouTube channel the following day.
Now that SupMatto has broken his silence on the matter, fans are rallying behind him with a #boycottborderlands3 movement that has begun trending on different social media platforms. While SupMatto's situation is certainly the inspiration behind the movement, consumers are joining it for a variety of different reasons - whether it be the unwarranted investigation of a content creator launched by a major publisher or the mistreatment of former employees, there are plenty of reasons for fans to be angry at Borderlands 3 right now.
It's a tough situation for many Borderlands fans, too, as the game itself looks great. That being said, eventually, enough is enough, and even though a talented development team worked hard to bring Borderlands 3 to life, there's a chance many fans will never give it the time of day due to outside influences. One thing's for certain, though - a terrible 2019 for publicity has only gotten worse for Gearbox, and the developer needs to address these problems as quickly as possible.