Just last month, Epic Games announced that they will not just be banning two Fortnite cheaters, but instead taking them to court. Since the announcement, one of accused has come out as 14 years old. And his mother is not happy with this news.
She has confronted the court directly with a letter, and it attacks Epic's handling of the case on a number of grounds.
The keynotes from the letter are how Fortnite 's terms require a parental consent for minors and she never gave this. Also how the case is based on a loss of profits, but since the game is free-to-play, they would need to prove a statement showing this "major profit loss".
"It is my belief that due to their lack of ability to curve cheat codes and other from modifying their game, they are using a 14-year old child as a scapegoat to make an example of him."
Another key point that she Epic Games is not suing the websites providing the cheat codes, but rather "they are going after the individuals using these codes." She also points out how Epic violated Delaware laws related to releasing information about minors.
These two case began last month when Epic began to take action against individual users who were using certain websites to obtain "aimbots", which would give players an upper hand in the game.
The cheats being obtained weren't free, it would cost players anywhere between $5-$15 a month for using them.
Instead of simply banning these users, Epic has decided to take them to court because they found the modification of the game's code is against the End User License Agreement and the Copyright Act in Fortnite.
Epic gave a statement to Kotaku about the situation:
“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.”
My Take - Epic's intentions are in the right place, but suing a minor is unethical. The mother points out something key here, Epic shouldn't have released any information about the child. Juvenile records are sealed for a reason, and the only way to unseal them is with a subpoena. Epic's interference is unwarranted. Also, them not attacking the source of the cheats is kinda problematic. Attacking users who used something is flawed, there is no way to end the problem if you don't attack the source. Epic has every right to press charges, but they are attacking the wrong people. Even issuing a takedown on the sites that are providing these services would have a lasting impact.
Written by Quinten Hoffman, the mind behind Break in Reality. You can find him here.