Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games
Part of Fortnite’s appeal is that it offers a level playing field. People can’t unlock new weapons, start a match with equipment, or augment their abilities by grinding for in-game upgrades. Everyone drops out of the Battle Bus with the same tools, a glider and a pickaxe so their skill will determine whether they catch the ‘dub or take an L. So it may not come as a surprise that Epic Games is suing two YouTubers for upsetting that balance with cheats.
TorrentFreak has reported that Epic’s lawsuit targets Brandon “Golden Modz” Lucas, a cheat distributor and content creator whose YouTube channel has 1.7 million followers, and Colton “Exentric” Contor, who has over 7,000 followers. The cheat in question combined an aimbot with ESP features that offered information that players would otherwise have no way of knowing. It reportedly cost $55 (30 days) or $300 (unlimited) from the Golden Godz website.
Lucas acknowledged the pending lawsuit in a video called “Golden Modz sued by Fortnite” that was published on September 22. Lucas claimed that nine of his videos were removed from YouTube by Epic via copyright strikes and that he felt “as if they are discriminating against me as there are 1000’s of other creators on youtube who make Fortnite videos.” [Sic.] Epic finally got around to filing the lawsuit in early October.
The suit appeared to have a quick impact. Golden Modz’s last video was published on October 12, and the Golden Godz website currently says that “No packages exist at this time,” even though a dialog box claims that “Payment systems are back up and new packages have been added!” The site claims to offer various “services” for several Call of Duty games and Grand Theft Auto: Online; all of them appear to have been pulled.
Epic isn’t the only company suing people who make, sell, or distribute cheats. Blizzard has also gone after cheat providers for Overwatch and World of Warcraft, while Rockstar Games has turned to the courts to prevent GTA: Online cheat makers from staying in business (the irony isn’t lost on us). Some companies focus most of their efforts on individual cheaters, but it seems that others have decided to go right for the source.
The legal claims all center around cheat-makers violating the parent company’s copyright by injecting code into their games. So far that argument has stuck, and with precedents often determining how judges respond to new cases, that could lead to a legal system that favors game companies over cheaters. Making this software will remain lucrative in the short term, but fear of repercussions could deter new entrants