Back in December, we covered trouble brewing in the Escape From Tarkov community, as Russian developer Battlestate stood accused of abusing DMCA takedowns against a YouTube critic. The YouTuber, Eroktic, claimed nearly 50 of his over 300 Tarkov videos had been pre-emptively issued strikes by the developer alleging negativity, incorrect information, and not-valid criticism, none of which is actually a legitimate use of DMCA takedowns – which, bizarrely, the company acknowledged. Battlestate even appeared to passively threaten other critics, not that it stopped multiple influencers and content creators from abandoning ship and supporting Eroktic.
Now Polygon is reporting a second YouTuber was targeted by the Tarkov developer, contrary to Battlestate’s claim that it had never abused DMCA in this way before. This vlogger, EL_Dee, told the publication that Battlestate had used DMCA to target 47 of his videos, supposedly because they used the company’s watermark and logo from the game’s title screen, but since plenty of other YouTubers with less criticism of the game were allowed to use that splash, it seems more likely the rationale was more nefarious.
Indeed, Polygon reports that it took Battlestate a month to respond to its initial fact-check, at which time the studio shifted blame to a subcontractor, AbsolutSoft… which actually turns out to be a company run by Tarkov’s project lead, who himself stands accused by EL_Dee of personally putting in the DMCA requests.
Both YouTubers say they lost YouTube views, Twitch followers, and income thanks to Battlestate’s strikes. EL_Dee even says gamers who mention his name on the game’s Reddit are hit with multi-month bans, pointing out that the whole ordeal was a “scare tactic.” Hopefully both of them have moved on to better games under better companies. In fact, hopefully everyone does.