It would be fair to say, Epic takes cheating in Fortnite pretty seriously. Not content with dishing out the usual bans, Epic has taken things a step further and is attempting to sue two alleged cheaters. One of these is a 14-year-old boy, whose name Epic has released publicly in documents easily obtainable. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be withholding his name.
The boy was a banned a total of 14 times from playing Fortnite, yet persisted in creating alternate accounts using false names. He also repeatedly engaged in stream sniping, which is the act of watching a streamer, joining their game and using their stream to identify where they are and kill them.
Epic’s issue is that stream sniping and the use of cheats directly contradicts the Terms of Service for playing Fortnite. Specifically, the ability to “reverse engineer, derive source code from, modify, adapt, translate, decompile, or disassemble it or make derivative works based on it”. The boy in question is alleged to be a moderator on AddictedCheats.net, a site which supplies an array of Fortnite cheats in exchange for money.
Naming a minor in a case like this is a big taboo, and the boy’s mother is none-too-pleased. She alleges that she never gave parental consent for her son to even play Fortnite, while arguing that if the case is based on loss of profits, Epic would need to provide a statement proving a “mass profit loss” due to the boy’s actions. In addition to this, she suggests, logically enough, that Epic should be targeting those sites selling the cheats rather than the cheaters themselves, before concluding that releasing her son’s name in public has violated local laws in Delaware.
“It is my belief that due to their lack of ability to curve cheat codes and others from modifying their game, they are using a 14-year-old child as a scapegoat to make an example of him,” says the mother. “The company is in the process of suing a multitude of players for this game Fortnite. Instead of Epic Games INC suing the websites providing the cheat codes, they are going after the individuals using these codes.”
I’m by no means qualified in the field of law, but Epic could find itself in hot water after revealing the boy’s name, potentially even opening themselves up to a counter lawsuit. It would appear Epic disclosed this information without being aware that the defendant was a child as minors aren’t even liable to be sued.
With this particular lawsuit, Epic has opened up a real can of worms. Cheating is undoubtedly a huge problem in online gaming and bans are commonplace. However, targeting individual users, even children, probably isn’t the best way to go about it. What are your thoughts on this? Should the cheat themselves be the target of lawsuits? Do you use cheats yourselves? Let us know!