Fortnite developer Epic Games has found itself in deep water after pursuing legal action against two cheaters in its game. As it turns out, one of the cheaters is actually a 14-year-old boy and that boy’s mother is looking to fight back.
In early October, Epic Games filed civil complaints against two Fortnite cheaters for allegedly using an aimbot service to gain an unfair advantage in the battle royale game. While Epic Games could have easily just banned these players, the developer alleges that the two individuals did more than just use the paid cheating software, but also offered support for the service and helped stream snipe popular Twitch broadcasters.
At the time, most saw it as an effort by Epic Games to clean up the Fortnite experience, which had come under fire for a prevalence of cheating. Now, Epic might regret the decision considering a minor is involved and, as has been now brought up, it is not legal to sue a minor.
On top of that, the mother has brought forth a number of issues with the lawsuit, including counterclaims that Epic Games lost any money since Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play. She also says that Epic Games needed to gain consent from a guardian before her son could legally be allowed to play Fortnite and claims no such consent was given.
It’s certainly a tricky situation for Epic Games, but the developer has since responded to the mother’s claims saying that it is only pursuing this legal action as part of a copyright claim on YouTube. The developer allegedly wants to remove all videos promoting Fortnite cheating software and the best course of action is this civil suit. Chances are the company didn’t know it was suing a 14-year-old when it “chose” two specific cheaters to pursue legal action against.
“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.”
Ultimately, nothing will likely come of Epic Games lawsuit since it is now in the company’s best interests to drop it. For a battle royale game like Fortnite that is singular in its focus cheating is always going to be an issue, and the lawsuit was a smart idea. Unfortunately, the developer tried to make an example out of the wrong gamer.