UK website Trusted Reviews or rather its parent TI Media, has paid £1m to charity in order to settle a legal case with Rockstar. The settlement was in relation to a leak of confidential documents on the site back in February 2018. Variety has reported.
A statement on Trusted Reviews, posted today stated:
"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."
Then games editor Brett Phipps departed the company in June 2018. There's been no further statement from Trusted Reviews or its parent TI Media.
Take-Two, speaking to Variety, also made a statement:
“Take-Two takes security seriously and will take legal action against people or publications who leak confidential information,” Rockstar statement reads. “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 an incredible development for games industry journalism, where such legal action, even in regards to confidential information, rarely results in legal action. Though that's largely down to how determined the publisher is, and potential negative outcomes from readers of news sites, rather than a lack of legal avenues to explore.
One thing's for sure, the media will now think twice before leaking anything about a Rockstar game.To say this sets any kind of legal precedent would be incorrect, but it could embolden other publishers to pursue similar settlements.