Fortnite Devs Taken to Task by an Angry Mom For Suing a 14-Year-Old Cheater
Fortnite developer Epic Games have promised battling cheaters is their highest priority, but the publisher may have overstepped in their quest to keep their hugely popular online survival game legit. Epic have banned thousands of cheaters, going so far as to file a civil suit against several of them. Unfortunately for the Epic PR team, one of the cheaters being sued turned out to be only 14 years old, and his mom is not happy.
First, an explanation for why the kid was sued. It seems our 14-year-old rapscallion purchased exploits from the website Addicted Cheats, and was caught using and promoting them on YouTube. It doesn’t seem as though he had any actual connection to Addicted Cheats – he just bought and hyped their shady products. Epic issued a DMCA takedown notice against his videos, but the cheater issued a counterclaim, which means Epic either had to give up and let the videos be, or sue. They chose the latter.
“This particular lawsuit arose as a result of the defendant filing a DMCA counterclaim to a takedown notice on a YouTube video that exposed and promoted Fortnite Battle Royale cheats and exploits. Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim.
Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age. As stated previously, we take cheating seriously, and we’ll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”
Epic’s insistence that they had no choice but to sue a 14-year-old kid didn’t sit well with his mother, who wrote a lengthy, surprisingly savvy, note to the court. She makes a number of good points, including the fact that Epic is suing for loss of profits even though Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play, and that her son didn’t actually make the cheats, he just bought them. You can check out her full letter, below.
Epic is certainly in a tricky position. You want to take it to cheaters, but the reality is, a large portion of them are just kids who don’t understand what they’re potentially getting themselves into. Best to focus on the people actually making and profiting from cheats (which Epic is also doing).
Epic’s suit could result in fines of up to $150,000. Save yourself some trouble, kids — just play fair.