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Epic Games Sues Recent Leaker

  • Civil lawsuit filed on October 25th in NC’s Eastern District Court.
  • Allegations against Ronald Sykes, former user experience personnel.
  • Epic Games alleges Sykes is in breach of NDA, claims financial damages.

Is there something in the water? Maybe in the air? Why does it seem like so many major gaming companies have absolute insanity going on right now? Activision-Blizzard repeatedly kicking hornets nests, Bethesda going back on their word, Ubisoft delaying several games after Breakpoint flopped. Did I miss any? Well even if I did, we’re about to add one more to the pile, although in this case the company in question isn’t necessarily in the wrong.

As of Friday, Epic Games has formally filed a lawsuit against Ronald Sykes for what they report as breaking a legally binding non-disclosure agreement that he was under during his time as a user experience tester for Fortnite. In a 27-page document filed to the Eastern District Court of North Carolina, it’s alleged that Sykes using three separate Twitter handles leaked information about Fortnite’s major Chapter 2 update. They’ve also alleged that in addition to spoiling upcoming content for players, that spoiling could adversely affect their income, though whether or not they can prove that definitively is another story. 

What they can prove without much doubt, is that the three twitter handles in question were indeed leaking some hefty information about Chapter 2, though at the time Sykes often referred to it as S11 or Season 11. Beginning on page 12, marked as “Defendant and His Unlawful Acts”, a number of tweets are referenced from September 24th through October 14th, archived within the document itself. All of these tweets tease and spoil different aspects of Fortnite Chapter 2, even going as far as to leak the new map itself.

It’s important to note throughout that the filing only alleges that the leaker is indeed Sykes, at this time there is no definitive proof. What can be proven is that, yes, there were several leaks. But until Epic can actually get information about who owns the accounts, presumably from Twitter itself by court order, Sykes could potentially walk away without a scratch. But if he is the leaker, he’s not just in hot water, but in a boiling cauldron. Considering they are seeking monetary restitution, he could be in for a world of hurt. There’s a lesson to be learned here, and that’s if you’re planning on leaking behind the scenes knowledge you better be sure you’re not under an NDA; those things are absolutely no joke. 

For those interested in reading the full document, it can be found on the website Scribd after it was uploaded by Polygon. What do you think about the whole situation? Risk that comes with the territory of leaking? Overreaction on Epic’s part? Justice well sought? Weigh in down below and let the Exclusively Games community know what you make of the lawsuit.