Since moving to a season pass model in 2019, Bungie has hosted a range of private events detailing future content updates to a select group of streamers and gaming influencers. These highly secretive events allow Bungie to gauge the potential success of their future content plans, which include updates to the on-going storyline; changes to the weapon meta, new perks, and new armour and weapons which will become available in the coming season.
Following the release of Lightfall in February 2023, Destiny leak accounts and subreddits started to flood with information regarding unannounced details of the up-coming content for Destiny 2 Season 21 – Season of the Deep, which will launch on the 23rd of May.
Included in the leaks were images from a slideshow which was apparently shown in a private screening for Destiny 2 streamers earlier in the year. It isn’t uncommon for information regarding future seasons to leak prior to their release, but it is extremely uncommon for images of new content to be part of these leaks. Unfortunately for the leaker in question, the fact that these images came from a singular source made it much easier for Bungie to discover the culprit of this particular leak, and the studio have placed the blame squarely at Destiny 2 streamer Ekuegan’s feet.
It goes without saying that every streamer present at these events is subject to an NDA, a Non Disclosure Agreement, meaning the attendees are legally bound to keep any information they are shown a secret until Bungie are ready to release it to the public. It is also common for phones and recording equipment to be confiscated at these types of events, so the fact images had been taken during the presentation makes this situation even more sticky for the accused streamer.
After the information was leaked through Discord on April 5, Bungie took steps to publicly address the leak, something which is uncommon for the developer.
In a tweet posted on April 14th, Bungie said:
“Community interaction and engagement is central to Bungie and our games. For years, we’ve invited creators and other members of the community to confidential summits to provide feedback on the future of Destiny. This is a beloved part of the process, but relies heavily on trust.
Breaches of this trust could result in our inability to hold more summits. We take these breaches extremely seriously and are taking actions to reinforce our policies with those invited to these internal meetings.”Destiny 2 Twitter Account
Bungie were clearly frustrated by this latest break in trust between members of the Destiny 2 community and themselves. At that moment Bungie did not point the blame at any one streamer, but it was later confirmed by Ekuegan in an interview with Forbes’ Paul Tassi that Bungie had issued a full ban to the well-known streamer.
In the interview, Ekuegan explains that the basis for this ban was Bungie’s claims that desktop icons featured in the leaked screenshots matched those on Ekuegan’s desktop, which could be seen in some of his previous streams.
There is a possibility that these icons were photoshopped into the leaked images, and during his interview with Forbes, Ekuegan consistently states that he is being framed. Afterall, Ekuegan has been a part of the Destiny 2 community since the very beginning, logging over 14,000 hours of playtime on his D2 account, and has never been accused of leaking before.
As a streamer who has been privy to NDA protected information for years, it seems a little odd that a person that has built their career around playing 1 particular game would throw it all away for the sake of leaking future details to a Discord server. Sure, there was some interesting information included in these leaks, like the possibility that light levels will be getting a complete overhaul, but the fact is that Ekuegan has had the opportunity to leak secretive information for years now, and is now only just being caught out – according to Bungie at least.
Some of the most vocal members of the community stepped forward to defend Ekuegan, including a tweet from Aztecross stating:
“All this shit makes me uncomfortable man.. Ekuegan has always been a good dude to me. I was at this summit, and the man offered a ton of fantastic advice and input. He was a great resource for the D2 community. Regardless of whether or not he did it, the situation sucks.”Aztecross via Twitter
Unfortunately, none of the support shown toward Ekuegan did anything to clear his name in Bungie’s eyes, and on the 17th of April, Bungie made their final statement on the matter, claiming that they had “irrefutable evidence” that Ekuegan was the source of the leak in this matter, stating:
“We are very disappointed to have learned this information and wish that things had gone differently with this person,” the studio wrote. “We do not take these actions lightly, and we are confident in our decision. This is our final communication on the matter.”Bungie via Twitter
As of the time of writing, there have been no further developments. In terms of the ‘irrefutable evidence’ that Bungie claim to have found, the community is still divided on whether the presence of these desktop icons is enough evidence to remove such a huge source of income for Ekuegan by banning him from Destiny 2. On one hand, it’s difficult to see such a popular streamer have their income hit based on evidence that, at least on face-value, could easily be fabricated. But on the other, it’s also hard to argue with a company who has so much invested in the secrecy of their up-coming game updates, as they are likely to have conducted a full and thorough investigation into the matter – particularly as the situation happened in the public eye.
For now, this matter needs to serve as a warning to future leakers, particularly if their income is so heavily tied to the game they are leaking information from.
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