The makers of Fortnite and Fortnite Battle Royale, Epic Games, have filed a civil suit in the eastern district of North Carolina against a former QA contractor. It's claimed that Thomas Hannah "diminished the enjoyment" for Fortnite players by revealing secrets about the details of where the meteor would hit at the end of Fortnite's third season. Hannah's lawyers formally responded this week, saying he did not work with a third party to spread the information.
Hannah was hired by Epic in December and, as reported by Polygon, Hannah had a conversation with Adam DiMarco three weeks after resigning from Epic. Hannah and DiMarco allegedly spoke about details surrounding the upcoming Fortnite season, with Epic arguing that the secrets were disclosed during an internal meeting on March 16.
DiMarco later posted on Reddit (first on April 24, then again on April 27) that the meteor strike would hit Dusty Depot (which would become Dusty Divot) instead of Titled Towers, as many had suspected. Epic responded about a fortnight later with the lawsuit, saying that the leaks "dampen the enthusiasm of a game's players and audience, potentially leading them to move to other games".
"Defendant’s conduct is damaging to Epic in many ways. Just as leaked trade secrets generate significant traffic and revenue to the benefit of those who publish them, those leaks are destructive to the owner of the leaked material," Epic's lawsuit reads. It adds that "spoilers can reduce the level of skills required to discover, learn, and ably deploy winning strategies in the game".
A filing from Hannah's lawyer on June 21 argues that DiMarco guessed the correct location of the meteor strike and that he "unilaterally published the information he had deduced on his own". Hannah's defense, however, has admitted violating the NDA agreement they signed with Epic.
Epic's filing is pushing for punitive damages under state and federal trade secrets legislation, as well as legal costs. To read more, as well as the filings in full, head here.