Last week, we reported that Fortnite developer Epic Games was planning to sue a 14-year-old child for cheating in its newest online multiplayer title. Now the case has been concluded with the minor's lawyer reaching a settlement with the Battle Royale game's developer.
After becoming frustrated with the thousands of cheaters who were present in Fortnite's popular multiplayer mode, Epic Games began taking several of the cheaters to court in an effort to discourage other users. One of the cheating players, a 14-year-old offender, has now been issued a permanent injunction which will cost $5,000 in damages if breached.
Accused of copyright infringement and breach of contract, the 14-year-old gamer is now strictly prohibited from injecting unauthorized computer code into the game under threat of financial punishment. According to Epic Games, the user has previously been banned at least nine times but has bypassed the account lock each time by simply registering with the developer again. The player was also suspected of having written their own code to cheat, encouraging other users to gain an unfair advantage in-game and making their sentence feel even more deserved as a consequence.
As part of the settlement, the Fortnite-fan is prohibited from "creating, writing, developing, advertising, promoting, and/or distributing anything that infringes Epic’s works now or hereafter protected by any of Epic’s copyrights". The defendant's mother, who had previously accused the developer of taking a minor to court and making their personal information public knowledge, was also addressed in a separate court case.
In a response issued this week, the company noted that it had no idea of the cheater's age when deciding to sue the Fortnite user, and mentioned that the mother's decision to confirm the 14-year-old user's full name and address in her letter to the developer was what exposed her child. Going forward, the developer promises to stick to using the 14-year-old's initials rather than name, in an effort to respect the child's privacy.
It's clear that Epic Games wants to keep their Battle Royale game mode feeling fun and fair, judging by the effort the company is going through to protect it. With thousands of cheaters being banned and some of the more notorious users taken to court, the developer is well on its way to providing a balanced experience for all.
Fortnite is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.