From the supposed harassment of SupMatto to Randy Pitchford’s eccentric behaviour, here’s why people are pledging to boycott Borderlands 3.
Borderlands 3 is scheduled to come out next month, yet there’s more ire surrounding the long-awaited game than there is excitement. It certainly looks fantastic with its expected gameplay coupled with its surprising influence of Mass Effect, but – in-spite-of its stellar presentation – #boycottborderlands3 was still trending worldwide on Twitter just five days ago. So, if the game appears to be everything and more fans could have ever wanted following the Pre-Sequel, why are people pledging to boycott it? Well, some of it has to do with a YouTuber named SupMatto, while the rest possibly has to do with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford.
I’m by no means the biggest Borderlands fan as the only game I’ve truly adored from the franchise is TellTale’s ingenious adaptation, but Borderlands 3 was still one of the biggest games of the year that had me and many others poised to play it from day one.
However, since its reveal, the game has repeatedly been stained by controversy after controversy. PC players were understandably furious with it becoming a limited time Epic Games Store exclusive, and fans of the character Rhys were bemused by Gearbox’s treatment of video game royalty Troy Baker.
While both points of contention could have been enough to sway people from buying Borderlands 3, the straw that broke the camel’s back appears to be the bizarre incident involving YouTuber SupMatto.
SupMatto and Borderlands 3
SupMatto is a fairly popular YouTuber with 142k followers. The bulk of his content pertains to the Borderlands franchise, and as a devoted fan he’s done a fine job in covering aspects of the long-awaited sequel.
Yet, it’s not the content that has suddenly made the YouTuber a somewhat recognisable name, nor is it the reason why dozens of people are pledging to boycott Borderlands 3.
Per Game Rant, the ECHOcast trailer for Borderlands 3 featured the name of one of the Twitch accounts that was being used to test the game’s integration features with the streaming platform.
This Twitch testing channel was following a number of other testing channels, and the thumbnails for their streams were publicly available.
You can probably already guess where this narrative is heading, but SupMatto essentially made some videos using the referred to Twitch thumbnails.
According to SupMatto himself, this resulted in Take-Two issuing copyright strikes against his channel.
While that alone might not be enough to make you jump out of your seat with rage, the allegation that Take-Two went as far as sending two private investigators to harass him at his home on July 25 is more than merely repulsive.
This controversial allegation might not be the sole cause of the #boycottborderlands3 movement, but it was arguably the catalyst.
Randy Pitchford’s eccentric behaviour
The #boycottborderlands3 movement is bad publicity for Gearbox, especially with how Take-Two reportedly expect the game to sell more than Borderlands 2’s 22 million sales.
Yet, despite the unwarranted investigation/harassment of SupMatto being the straw that broke the camel’s back, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is arguably to blame for the vast majority of bad publicity surrounding the once anticipated title.
Pitchford has been accused of physically assaulting the former voice actor of Claptrap, and he also been lambasted for sharing a video on Twitter that showed a kitten being attacked by a crab.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, his back-and-forth with Troy Baker surrounding the voice casting for Rhys was less than comfortable, and he also hit out at Game Informer for allegedly misinterpreting his definition of microstransactions.
Concerns about Borderlands 3 being a bad game are unfounded as it appears to be everything and more fans could have ever wanted, but the eccentric behaviour of Randy Pitchford and the supposed harassment of SupMatto can be seen as reasons to not support it.
This would be a shame as Borderlands is one of the most recognisable franchises with an amazing community of fans, plus the title is so much more than just one or a few people’s baby. Come September 13th, it’ll be interesting to see just how much the #boycottborderlands3 movement impacts its sales.