Polygon is reporting that Epic Games is suing a user experience tester for allegedly sharing early information on Fortnite‘s Chapter 2 update before the event went live. The lawsuit was filed on October 25th in the North Carolina court system and alleges that Ronald Sykes, who went by @invisiblellama9 on Twitter, leaked Chapter 2 online and damaged the effect of the Black Hole marketing campaign. As of writing this article, Sykes appears to have deleted his Twitter account.
According to the suit filed by Epic Games against Sykes, in allegedly leaking Chapter 2 details he broke a non-disclosure agreement by sharing details about what the user experience team was testing internally with the public. Epic’s legal team writes: “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.”
The lawsuit alleges that Sykes had access to Chapter 2 of Fortnite at the end of September, and three days after posted to another Twitter user that he “played S11 [now Chapter 2] and can tell you the new stuff.” From another account, Sykes tweeted that Chapter 2 would add the ability for players to swim. The lawsuit also states that Sykes allegedly posted new map details and other Chapter 2 secrets in advance of Epic’s reveal.
Epic is asking for injunctive relief, which is a legal remedy for civil suits that a party can ask for in addition to (or instead of) monetary damages. The court would order the Defendant to stop the behavior that brought about the suit in the first place. Epic is also asking for “maximum damages” over the alleged breach of contract and the “misappropriation” of what Epic considers trade secrets Sykes had access to while working as an experience tester. “As a direct result of Sykes’ breach of his contractual obligations under his NDA, Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined,” the lawsuit reads.
Earlier this month, Fortnite went dark for two days, causing an internet sensation where a black hole had swallowed the game’s world. When the game went live again, Chapter 2 started with the new map and other major changes. The lawsuit explains that Epic had spent considerable energy and effort leading up to this event, both inside and outside of Fortnite in “hints and hidden ‘Easter eggs’” since the game’s launch.
Epic is no stranger to lawsuits concerning Fortnite. In 2018, Epic also filed suit against a quality assurance contractor for leaking information for Season 4 before its release. The contractor filed a defense against the suit, claiming he didn’t intend for the information to become public. Epic also has filed suits against Fortnite cheaters, as well as received its own class-action suit in Canada that claims Epic made Fortnite too addictive.
Fortnite’s Chapter 2 is currently available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows and Mac as well as iOS and Android devices.