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.”