In what may very well be an industry first, Epic Games is suing alleged cheaters for the unauthorized alteration of their game Fortnite‘s code.
Mr. “Broom” and Mr. “Vraspir” are being sued for alleged violation of Fortnite‘s Terms of Service and End-User License Agreement. Their modification of the game’s code for the purpose of cheating in the “action-building” co-operative shooter is considered copyright infringement by the game’s creator, claiming, “the software that Defendant uses to cheat infringes Epic’s copyrights in the game and breaches the terms of the agreements to which Defendant agreed in order to have access to the game.”
The Fortnite team has been aggressively banning supposed cheaters in the short time following release of the freemium “Battle Royale” mode for their game. In an official blog post by Community Coordinator Nathan Mooney, he wrote:
Addressing cheaters in Fortnite is the highest priority across Epic Games. We are constantly working against both the cheaters themselves and the cheat providers. And it’s ongoing, we’re exploring every measure to ensure these cheaters are removed and stay removed from Fortnite Battle Royale and the Epic ecosystem. [emphasis original]
Epic’s allegations against Broom and Vraspir are much more concrete:
Defendant’s cheating, and his inducing and enabling of others to cheat, is ruining the game playing experience of players who do not cheat. The software that Defendant uses to cheat infringes Epic’s copyrights in the game and breaches the terms of the agreements to which Defendant agreed in order to have access to the game.
As a result of his conduct, Defendant has been banned from playing Fortnite at least nine times. He nevertheless continues to play by creating multiple new accounts using false names to circumvent these bans. He also continued to cheat and induce others to cheat at Fortnite.
Both defendants are reportedly involved with the site AddictedCheats.net, with Vraspir allegedly providing code for the cheats and Broom reportedly admitting that he wanted to sow “unwanted chaos and disorder.” He has further reportedly said that AddictedCheats.net was specifically targeting Fortnite.
Both Broom and Vraspir face $150,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement, breach of contract, and “circumvention of technological measures.” If nothing else, these suits show just how serious gaming companies are about having their businesses attacked.
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