Epic Games sues tester that “gave the game away” and leaked Fortnite Chapter 2 secrets

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite (opens in new tab) developer Epic Games is suing a game tester for breaking their non-disclosure agreement and spoiling some aspects of Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 1 (opens in new tab) before it was released. 

Filing the civil complaint in North Carolina (opens in new tab), Epic alleges tester Ronald Sykes of sharing details of Chapter 2 ahead of its launch "at the expense of Epic and those in the Fortnite community who were anxiously awaiting the new season of Fortnite".

As reported by Polygon (opens in new tab), Sykes – who previously used the Twitter handle @invisiblellama9 (opens in new tab) before the account was deleted – is accused of tweeting another Twitter user in late September, stating: "played S11 and can tell you the new stuff". Using an alternate account, Sykes is also alleged to have revealed further undisclosed information, including an image of the map and confirmation that players could swim in Fortnite Chapter 2. 

“As a direct result of Sykes’ breach of his contractual obligations under his NDA," Epic's lawyers said in the lawsuit, "Epic has sustained and will continue to sustain damages in an amount to be determined."

The lawsuit added that "a trade secret is information that is valuable because it is secret" and if it loses its secrecy, "it loses its value". 

"Information is currency," the lawsuit said. "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." 

Consequently, Epic is seeking "injunctive relief and damages [...] for misappropriation of trade secrets" by way of a civil action lawsuit. It also asks that Sykes compensates Epic for "a sum certain reflecting the maximum amount of damages" permitted under the law, as well as the developer's legal costs.

An Epic representative told Polygon it does not comment on ongoing litigation, and Sykes did not respond to a request for comment, either.

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.