British gaming site TrustedReviews reached a settlement of £1 million pounds after leaking details about Red Dead Redemption 2 last February. The payout went to three different charities of Take-Two Interactive's choosing, the American video game holding company behind Rockstar Games.
Nearly a year before Red Dead Redemption 2's October release, TI Media's video game site TrustedReviews published an article that featured confidential content. The content referred specifically to various features included in the long-awaited Red Dead Redemption sequel. However, after leaking the details, the website later replaced the article with an apology to Take-Two Interactive. Now, in order to reach a settlement on the dispute, the leak ultimately cost the website £1 million.
TrustedReviews posted an article on their website detailing the situation, outlining the decision to leak the content, as well as issuing a personal apology to Take-Two Interactive. The article explained that the site knowingly "published an article that was sourced from a confidential corporate document," though it was not specified whether or not TrustedReviews had, in fact, broken any laws by leaking the content. In response, Take-Two Interactive issued a statement to Variety threatening "legal action against people or publications who leak confidential information," while also specifying that the £1 million payout will be dispersed between three different charities: the American Indian College Fund, the American Prairie Reserve, and the First Nations Development Institute.
Though not the first time details about a video game have been leaked online, this is an example of serious action being taken under the circumstances. Another video game website Kotaku had been called out on several occasions for leaking content from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, as well as confidential information from PlayStation, but neither resulted in serious consequences.
Seeing as Red Dead Redemption 2 is continuing a strong, consistent streak of breaking records following its early October release, its creators have little to worry about in terms of various information leaks affecting sales in any way whatsoever. The game is already well on its way to breaking a billion dollars in sales just short of a month after its release, so a leak all the way back in February doesn't appear to have hurt it in any way. In fact, cluing in gamers on what sort of features they'll have to look forward to in such an anticipated game could be a blessing in disguise in some ways. Whether or not the legal action taken against TrustedReviews is justified or not is the hot topic of debate.