Twitter User Who Leaked Most E3 Announcements Says Nintendo's Lawyer Called Them

After promising early and unreleased information about Nintendo’s E3 reveals on Twitter this weekend, an account that’s been leaking the rest of this week’s announcements says they received a call and email from Nintendo asking them to stop.

The leaker, who goes by Sabi, has been posting detail after detail for each E3 press conference, starting with Microsoft and Bethesda yesterday, and then Ubisoft and Square Enix today.

All of their tweets have proven to be correct so far, from specific game modes like Doom Eternal’s multiplayer to big, broad reveals like Microsoft’s Project Scarlett being capable of “120 FPS.” The only conference that’s been spared so far is Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct.

“It’s sounding like I, and a few others, may just learn about everything in the E3 Nintendo Direct a day beforehand,” Sabi wrote on Twitter late last month. Sabi is referring to tomorrow’s press conference, in which Nintendo is expected to reveal details about much-anticipated games like Animal Crossing and Link’s Awakening.

On Saturday, Sabi followed up with those hungry fans who were demanding to know about Nintendo’s plans now: “Cool it, cool it guys. Remember, I didn’t say all the Nintendo info would be tonight for sure, just that it’ll happen by Monday night at the latest, likely before then. However, there’s a lot of Non-Nintendo stuff comin verrryyyy soon.”

Yesterday, however, Sabi says they hit a snag.

“I got a call from a cell phone number, and it was really muffled,” Sabi told Kotaku over Discord. “Some old guy saying Nintendo is aware of my activities, and that if I continue with my threats they would pursue legal actions.” Sabi agreed not to leak Nintendo’s announcements, and later, Sabi said, that “old guy” followed up with an email, which they briefly posted on Twitter before deleting, then forwarded to Kotaku.

It read, “Misappropriation of Nintendo Trade Secrets.” In the Twitter post, Sabi left the lawyer’s name and phone number. (A Google search indicates that the lawyer has previously worked with Nintendo.)

Read the email: “As discussed, Nintendo is aware of your online activities, including on Twitter and Discord, relating to the disclosure of confidential information regarding Nintendo’s games. Also, it is aware of your plans for further disclose such information in advance of E3. Nintendo considers your activities to be a misappropriation of its trade secrets. If you continue to disclose such information, or follow through on your plans regarding E3 information, Nintendo will look at all of its legal options, including commencing legal proceedings against you.”

Sabi is surprised that it was Nintendo who contacted them— “I’ve actually leaked very little of theirs yet,” they said, despite branding themselves on Twitter as “a popular leaker in the Smashboards and Resetera Nintendo communities.” What was more surprising is that the lawyer even tracked them down.

Sabi says they’re not currently living in the country where they have citizenship and received the call on a house phone where they’re staying—one with no connection to them. “It was really creepy,” they said. Neither the lawyer nor Nintendo responded to Kotaku’s requests for comment.

The big lingering question is how someone might have gotten access to all these E3 press conferences before they’d started. Sabi even wrote on Twitter that Keanu Reeves would be in Cyberpunk 2077 before developer CD Projekt Red made that surprise announcement on Microsoft’s stage.

When asked, Sabi told Kotaku that it all comes from a single source, one they don’t talk to directly but only secondhand, and that “the source in this instance I’ve only known for a few weeks.” It’s not clear whether this information is being obtained through website hacking or other illegal means.

As for the Nintendo leaks, Sabi is confident they’ll still filter out. Their source, they say, “leaks through other people as well. So it won’t really change much.”


Comments

    Man, it's fucking scary how lawyers can find a phone number like they do.

      It is scary but it's not really that hard and you might be surprised how quickly sites like Twitter, Facebook and others will hand over your personal info.

      In this case all he needed was phone verification for Twitter or the email linked for the account and pow, one email to the legal dept and done.

        Ahah. I never even considered that private companies would bend that easily. I suppose I should have though.

    In the past these kind of leaks have originated from event management, setup and multimedia crews at the venue getting early access to presentations and promotional material, which explains why these are always only leaked a day or so early.

    It should be reasonably clear that the information is not "being obtained through website hacking or other illegal means" because it comes from a range of developers all of whom have their own servers, systems and separate security and who most certainly would not normally be sharing information with each other.

      Yeah the main source usually tends to be event staff but some of it is taken from websites though.
      It isn't always hacking, you would be surprised how many sites placehold information early in preparation for the announcement, all you need is a name and you got your "leak"

    Honestly, great. I like that feeling of excitement that comes from knowing something ahead of its official announcement as much as anyone else but there's a line where it just comes across as spiteful. Especially if you're doing it the day or two before the announcement. Are people really that impatient these days?

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