Popular YouTuber Brandon “Golden Modz” Lucas, along with partner Colton “Excentric” Conter, are being sued by Epic for posting videos highlighting cheating in Fortnite and selling tools to mirror the behavior. It might seem like overkill for a big publisher to go after a YouTuber like this, but it’s likely Epic is hoping to set an example with the duo and potentially dissuade others from openly cheating in their games.
When most people cheat they don’t typically advertise their actions, but that’s exactly what Lucas and Conter did in Fortnite. And I’m using that term quite literally, as their videos served to both demonstrate how to use certain tools to cheat (such as aimbots) in the hugely popular battle royale game while simultaneously selling the tools themselves.
As Engadget points out, Epic has sued the duo, claiming they have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, breached contract (presumably the EULA everyone agrees to when playing an online game) and taken part in “tortious interference,” which is fancy talk for “these dudes cheated in our game, posted about it and then sold tools online so other people could cheat, too.”
Epic is consistently working on patches to address this type of cheating but, still, folks who develop the hacks are working just as quickly to create new workarounds. This is exactly the kind of behavior developers have cited in the past as being cancerous to online games, as time and resources have to be poured into finding and eliminating cheats rather than, you know, creating new content for the game.
It looks like Lucas is the main target of this lawsuit, with Conter included due to the fact that he took part in several of the videos in question. Since Lucas has nearly 2 million subscribers on YouTube, it’s not like anyone can argue that he’s whistling into the wind here. The dude’s got reach and, according to Epic, that reach is being used to encourage and profit off of cheating at their game.
In the short term, Epic has requested that several of Conter’s videos be removed from the website, but it doesn’t look like any traction has been made at this point. That’s especially frustrating, since folks have proven it’s not that difficult to claim you work for a publisher and have YouTube take down official videos posted by the actual publisher.
In the long term, Epic is taking a full swing in this lawsuit. On top of having the duo lose any profits earned from these videos and the subsequent sale of aimbots, the publisher is seeking damages and court costs to boot. We imagine Epic’s legal team is mighty costly and have no idea how “damages” would even be determined in a case like this. Assuming the case proceeds, though, we’re likely to find out.