Epic Games said it wasn’t going to let Fortnite cheaters slide, and last month, it proved just that by filing lawsuits against people who allegedly helped people cheat in its free-to-play Battle Royale mode. Today, a letter to the the U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina revealed that one of those individuals is a minor. The mother of Caleb “Sky Orbit” Rogers wrote a letter informing the court of the age of her 14-year-old son, saying Epic broke Delaware law by revealing a minor’s name publicly in its suit. In it, she also writes that she never gave consent for her child to participate in Fortnite, which Epic requires for the game.
The letter also states that Caleb gained the cheats from a public website and livestreamed it, thus Epic should be going after the website and not her son. Epic Games also cannot prove her son modified the game in any way himself, as the lawsuit alleges. She also brings Fortnite’s Battle Royale’s free-to-play status into the discussion, saying this makes it impossible to prove her son caused any “profit loss” and states since no purchase occurred her son is off the hook. “Epic Games Inc failed to legally bind underage users with their EULA agreement, which is a contract between the licensor and purchaser, establishing the purchasers’ right to use the software. This being said, the game itself was in-fact free. No purchase of said game occurred,” she writes.
We reached out to Epic Games for a comment to clarify its position, to which we received this response:
“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.”
Fortnite is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Right now, the game is still a work-in-progress, with Battle Royale mode being freely accessible. A full release of the game is expected in 2018. You can read the full letter at the source below.
Our Take There’s a good chance that Caleb Rogers’ case gets dismissed. Epic Games probably didn’t realize he was a minor when it filed suit. That doesn’t mean cheating shouldn’t be cracked down upon, as it ruins the game for the players who actually follow the rules. Bans have been ineffective at solving this problem entirely, which I’m guessing is why legal action appealed to Epic alongside having to take action for the YouTube takedown to stick. Time will tell how it all shakes out.