The developers of the game Fortnite filed a lawsuit against a 14-year-old who allegedly used cheating software to get a competitive edge in multiplayer. His mother is fighting back.
Epic Games took cheating punishment a step further than usual in October when it not only banned two Fortnite Battle Royale players for cheating but decided to sue them. Now, a month later, the mother of one of the alleged cheaters has responded and is calling the entire lawsuit into question, admonishing Epic for publicly naming her son, who is a minor.
In a letter to the judge of the case obtained by Torrent Freak, the mother states that Epic has not shown proof that her son modified the game as the company stated in its suit, that she never gave him the required parental consent to play, and that the company never actually suffered mass profit loss because the game is free to play.
The mother also alleges Epic is “using a 14-year-old child as a scape goat to make an example of him… Instead of Epic Games, Inc. suing the websites providing the cheat codes, they are going after the individuals using these codes.”
Epic explained the reasoning behind the lawsuit against the minor in a statement received via email: “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.”
Essentially, the young offender was live streaming himself playing Fortnite Battle Royale while using cheats he downloaded online, and Epic caught him after he challenged YouTube taking down one of his videos. Epic elaborated in its statement that it doesn’t condone cheating no matter the age of the offender.
“Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age,” the company stated. “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.”
Although Epic was just pursuing what it legally thought was right to do to protect its game, the company made the mistake of publicly naming the 14-year-old cheater, which is not legal according to Delaware state law.
“Epic Games, Inc. has released the defendants name publicly, therefore allowing news articles and different online publications to obtain his name and in turn release additional information,” the mother said in her letter. “Referencing State of Delaware House Bill No. 64 it is illegal to release underage individuals’ personal information by any agencies. Epic Games Inc. is in complete violation of this.”
It is possible that Epic did not know the age of the minor before they named him, but Epic did not address that question when asked.
The alleged cheater’s mother added that Epic is also requesting financial gain her son made from these cheats, although she says her son has made no money from live streaming.