As of late, lawsuits in the gaming industry have dominated news headlines. Regardless of whether it is Pinkerton suing Rockstar over Red Dead Redemption 2 or Gearbox's double-suit involving one of its former employees, the stack of lawsuits are piling up. While Forza Horizon 4 has not been the subject of one itself, its developers have just removed two emotes from the game in order to avoid any potential dangers.
Although many developers have been hit with lawsuits recently, none are currently involved in more than Epic Games. The developers of the popular battle royale game, Fortnite, are being sued by multiple, unrelated people who claim that Epic Games stole their dances and sold them as in-game emotes for profit. While the number of people suing Epic Games is continually climbing, the most recent lawsuit made by Orange Shirt Kid's mother marks the fourth to sue based on Epic Games' use of emotes.
It is because of the legal trouble Epic has found itself in that the developers of Forza Horizon 4 felt compelled to remove two of its emotes. Of the emotes being pulled, both are currently subjects of two separate lawsuits filed against Epic - the "Milly Rock" and the "Carlton."
Interestingly enough, numerous games that use many of the same emotes that happen to be in Fortnite have not fallen victim to lawsuits. This leads many to believe that the people filing the lawsuits are simply trying to capitalize on Fortnite's popularity and revenue. However, this raises the question of whether the filers have a case or not. Although various cases involve differing circumstances, one lawyer believes the filers stand a chance.
While it is likely that Forza Horizon 4 will not be involved in a lawsuit related to an in-game emote now, it would not be surprising if Epic Games finds itself being sued by many others in the near future. To avoid future lawsuits, the developer would need to remove all of the emotes that can be traced back to a specific person. However, this decision could anger Fortnite fans and taint Epic's player-friendly reputation, which puts the company in a difficult position.
Forza Horizon 4 is available now on PC and Xbox One.