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Red Dead Redemption 2 leak leads to apology, £1 million donation from review site

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Nov 1, 2018, 8:06 PM EDT (Updated)

After publishing confidential information that outlined major features of Red Dead Redemption 2 months before its release, a review hub has issued a public apology and agreed to donate more than $1 million to charity as part of an arrangement with the game’s parent company.

Trusted Reviews, a plugged-in review site that covers everything from microwave ovens to cell phones to video games, issued a contrite statement this week after reaching an arrangement with Take-Two Interactive, the corporate parent of RDR2 publisher Rockstar Games

“On February 6, 2018, we published an article that was sourced from a confidential corporate document,” the statement reads. “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.”

Although Trusted Reviews has, of course, taken the leaked information off its website, the revelations generated significant buzz back in February, and received coverage from both gaming websites and the mainstream press. 

Among the leaked information was RDR2’s strategy for an online-based battle royale multiplayer mode (which is, indeed, coming later this month), as well as detailed information about the game’s camping, progression, and exploration systems. The leak also predicted the arrival of RDR2’s companion app for mobile devices, which Rockstar would go on to make available just ahead of the game’s Oct. 26 release.

Take-Two told Variety the company “takes security very seriously” and that the donated funds would go to “three great charities: the American Indian College Fund, the American Prairie Reserve, and the First Nations Development Institute.”

As for the game itself, well — you’re probably already playing it. Fans can’t get enough of RDR2: In its first weekend of release, sales have dwarfed those of even the biggest movie franchises, like Star Wars and The Avengers. Reviewers have fallen head over heels, too — the game currently enjoys a nearly unheard-of 97 Metascore, putting it near the very top of the online aggregator’s all-time list of best-reviewed games.