Epic Sues Fortnite Chapter 2 Leaker

By Sean Carey,
Epic Games has opened a lawsuit against a playtester that leaked details about Fortnite Chapter 2. A lawsuit filed at a North Carolina court alleges that Ronald Sykes leaked information about Fortnite Chapter 2, breaking a non-disclosure agreement.

Chapter 2

Fortnite went offline for two days earlier in October and was replaced with a black hole. The marketing stunt titled "The End" broke viewership records on both Twitter and Twitch, with more than 1.7 million people watching the black hole in anticipation for something to happen. The game then came back online in the form of Fortnite Chapter 2 with a new map and gameplay changes. It was something that the Epic had worked on for months and was "the result of considerable, planning, creativity and effort by Epic's employees."

Epic's lawyers claim that "Sykes cashed in on what he learned as a User Experience tester for Epic. He did so at the expense of Epic and those in the Fortnite community who were anxiously awaiting the new season of Fortnite only to have some of Epic’s planned surprises spoiled by Sykes’ leaks."

In late September, Sykes took part in Epic's User Experience Testing and played some of Fortnite's new content. As described in the lawsuit, it took Sykes just three days to begin leaking information. A Twitter account by the handle of @snipa_King2K — that is believed to be Sykes — tweeted "I played S11 and can tell you the new stuff." Another account @DriFtZz that is also thought to be Sykes replied to various Twitter users with the following tweets: "Bro next season is godly, trust me", " I played it, and season 11 is it!" Sykes is believed to have continued to leak information from a number of different Twitter accounts including an image of the new map and that players would be able to swim.

The filing states that "Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined" as a result of Sykes breaching the NDA. Epic is asking for the maximum amount of damages from Sykes for "misappropriation of Epic's trade secrets."

Epic Games has previously sued a former QA contractor over leaks relating to Fortnite's fourth season.

Source: Polygon

Check out our Best Xbox One Third-Person Shooters Available in 2019 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Hey everyone! I'm Sean. I have been writing gaming content for various outlets over the past few years while studying a degree in Journalism. I grew up on everything PlayStation — mainly Metal Gear Solid, with a brief foray into the world of Xbox. Nowadays, you'll find me mainly playing multiplayer PC games, but with the recent addition of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, I'm looking forward to improving my TA Score.
Posts on this article have been added to a thread in the Industry News Forum.
  • Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:10Permalink
    This is a seroius question, as I don't understand alot of this, and it seems like crap to me but,

    "Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined"

    What damages exactly? From this story, all i can gather is that this dude fuelled the hype train some more... I don't get it. Genuinely want to get my head around how the damages are an 'undetermined amount'. Seems like cashing in.
  • Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:13, Edited on 28 October 19 at 14:13 by Elite1111111111Permalink
    Lord Von Chimp said:
    This is a seroius question, as I don't understand alot of this, and it seems like crap to me but,

    "Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined"

    What damages exactly? From this story, all i can gather is that this dude fuelled the hype train some more... I don't get it. Genuinely want to get my head around how the damages are an 'undetermined amount'. Seems like cashing in.
    Agreed. Epic pretending this guy's "leaks" would have any measurable negative effect on their profits is laughable.
  • KexolKexol371,076
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:15Permalink
    As much as I hate Fortnite, have to agree on epic on this one. Sykes shouldnt have leaked that info. Imagine if everyone actually thought the game was dead.
  • zombizerozombizero288,725
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:15Permalink
    "Fortnite went offline for two days earlier in October and was replaced with a black hole. The marketing stunt titled "The End" broke viewership records on both Twitter and Twitch, with more than 1.7 million people watching the black hole in anticipation for something to happen."

    People wasted their weekend staring at a black screen. The "end" really must be near. Meanwhile, normal people had fun playing playable games, ranking up, earning achievements and testing new strategies.
  • DarqStalkerDarqStalker614,093
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:19Permalink
    I'm no lawyer and it can be really trick. "Damages" can be anything like, releasing information about something that you have signed an NDA about. Could be a little bit of information or a lot, doesn't matter. Breaking an NDA is serious.
  • Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:20Permalink
    Elite1111111111 said:
    Lord Von Chimp said:
    This is a seroius question, as I don't understand alot of this, and it seems like crap to me but,

    "Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined"

    What damages exactly? From this story, all i can gather is that this dude fuelled the hype train some more... I don't get it. Genuinely want to get my head around how the damages are an 'undetermined amount'. Seems like cashing in.
    Agreed. Epic pretending this guy's "leaks" would have any measurable negative effect on their profits is laughable.
    The takeaway is that the guy broke an NDA. It's probably worded that way because of how the NDA was written. Regardless of the what they're looking to recoup losses for, the fact of the matter is that the guy broke the agreement. If they don't go after him now for his actions, it sets a precedent for all future testers that they bring in, and it absolutely needs to be stopped now.
  • Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:35, Edited on 28 October 19 at 14:47 by Elite1111111111Permalink
    Sunny GLite1004 said:
    The takeaway is that the guy broke an NDA. It's probably worded that way because of how the NDA was written. Regardless of the what they're looking to recoup losses for, the fact of the matter is that the guy broke the agreement. If they don't go after him now for his actions, it sets a precedent for all future testers that they bring in, and it absolutely needs to be stopped now.
    I'm all for him getting punished for breaking a contract but if there are any real damages it's not like anything up to and including bankrupting this guy is going to make up for that. Going hard on this guy could be more damaging to them from an image standpoint than any perceived loss the leaker themselves caused.

    Depending on what's written into the contact I suppose he has only himself to blame.
  • Hazar KhallHazar Khall589,070
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:53Permalink
    Elite1111111111 said:
    Sunny GLite1004 said:
    The takeaway is that the guy broke an NDA. It's probably worded that way because of how the NDA was written. Regardless of the what they're looking to recoup losses for, the fact of the matter is that the guy broke the agreement. If they don't go after him now for his actions, it sets a precedent for all future testers that they bring in, and it absolutely needs to be stopped now.
    I'm all for him getting punished for breaking a contract but if there are any real damages it's not like anything up to and including bankrupting this guy is going to make up for that. Going hard on this guy could be more damaging to them from an image standpoint than any perceived loss the leaker themselves caused.
    This is the same debate people had over Coalition handing out hefty bans for people constantly DCing. Amount of harm you feel is "really" being done is sadly irrelevant;

    In truth, if you break *any* contract (terms of service and nondisclosure ARE legal contracts) the offended party typically takes the harshest action to ensue others dont get the smart idea to follow the trend.

    Them claiming lost wages and cash is part of it. Suing "lol just because" isnt a case that holds in court.
    Suing "because he lied and its affecting us financially" is.
    Go big or go home (>*_*)>---gs
  • BegFourMercyBegFourMercy741,830
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:56Permalink
    Can you sue a game that is in a constant beta? Technically everyone is a beta tester and we all leaked features of the game.
  • AeriBouSAeriBouS534,893
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 14:57Permalink
    Like many on this site I've tested many beta and alpha builds over the decades and signed NDA's for all of them. This guy is getting what he deserves. Think of how many people would have gladly taken his spot that didn't have the loose lips of an old lady's sewing circle.
    I wrote here once on accident and this is what I wrote to never see the original post again.
  • GRAND NOBLEGRAND NOBLE290,550
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 15:00Permalink
    1. He shouldn't have broken his NDA contract. Epic has the right to sue.
    2. Should they tho? Leakers fuel fortnite's online community.

    Tricky.
    Leap Frog 2017 - 4x 6.4+ Ratio!! (Croaked on Day 29) -- www.instagram.com/grandnoble
  • DDevDDev230,450
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 15:04Permalink
    Epic certainly have a very large number in their bank account so I can only imagine the impossible task of winning this one for the NDA leaking guy.

    I also struggle to believe anyone really thought Fortnite was pulling the plug due to how much money it still makes but an NDA isn't a bit of fun either.
    Gears player since 06'
  • Posted on 28 October 19 at 15:09Permalink
    Kexol said:
    As much as I hate Fortnite, have to agree on epic on this one. Sykes shouldnt have leaked that info. Imagine if everyone actually thought the game was dead.
    While he shouldn't have broken his NDA, he wasn't saying fortnite was dead. He was sharing information on what was to come, like a new map, the fact you can now swim etc which was confirming the opposite. I don't think Epic are actually after money and are more using this as a warning shot to keep other testers, current and future, from breaching their NDAs.
    Shut your crap, York.
  • Throni360Throni3601,188,123
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 15:20Permalink
    A Boss Monster said:
    I don't think Epic are actually after money and are more using this as a warning shot to keep other testers, current and future, from breaching their NDAs.
    Tencent doesn't play around when it comes to money. They'll make sure that this doesn't happen again. It's another huge step towards stricter NDA's and more censorship.
  • iMaginaryyiMaginaryy1,350,519
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 16:07Permalink
    The point is it's an NDA - if people can break NDAs with impunity, what's the point of having them?
    Fear is the mindkiller.
  • I NVIII II NVIII I500,332
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 16:21Permalink
    Could see this coming from a mile away
  • WiznyattWiznyatt795,855
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 16:48Permalink
    iMaginaryy said:
    The point is it's an NDA - if people can break NDAs with impunity, what's the point of having them?
    ^^^^
  • james765james765382,341
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 17:01Permalink
    if the most he did was tell people you could swim and share a pic of the map sueing him seems a bit ridiculous. No one actually thought fortnite was dead and realized that the whole the end thing was of course a big publicity stunt to hype up the new season due to not making as much money as they previously were. If they actually try to bankrupt the dude with court expenses and "damages" this could be a pr nightmare for them when they could dimply ban him from being a future beta tester and probably ban him from the game. And yes NDA's are very important but there really dosent seem to be much actual damage here when I think of damages from an NDA I think of someone working for a company selling trade secrets to a rival or something along those lines
  • ElyohElyoh736,574
    Posted on 28 October 19 at 17:32Permalink
    Throni360 said:
    A Boss Monster said:
    I don't think Epic are actually after money and are more using this as a warning shot to keep other testers, current and future, from breaching their NDAs.
    Tencent doesn't play around when it comes to money. They'll make sure that this doesn't happen again. It's another huge step towards stricter NDA's and more censorship.
    What does censorship have to do with this? This was an agreement between two parties, and one of them broke it.
    No God, know fear. Know God, no fear.
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