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Epic sues second tester for Fortnite Chapter 2 leaks

Epic Games is taking legal action against a second playtester that allegedly shared details of Fortnite’s Chapter 2 ahead of its release last month.

This time, the claim has been filed in the Quebec Superior Court against Lucas Johnston, who’s accused of leaking information about Chapter 2 when they worked as a tester in the Montreal branch of Keywords Studios. According to The Canadian Press (thanks, GI.biz), Johnston took a screenshot of the game whilst testing it on August 30th, 2019, which was later shared on the forum Fortnite Competitions on September 12, 2019, a full month ahead of Chapter 2’s launch in October. 

Within a day of the leak, Keywords Studios’ own internal investigation traced the leak to Johnston after reviewing its security footage. Johnston was fired the next day and while they admit taking the photograph, they maintain they did not share it on the forum.

MCV/Develop reported in October that Epic Games was suing former Fortnite user experience tester, Ronald Sykes, after they shared details of Fortnite’s Chapter 2 ahead of its official reveal. Much like the Sykes case, Epic claims the leak “deprived [us] of the element of surprise” for Chapter 2 and seeks damages of over $85,000.

In the first civil suit, which was filed in North Carolina, Epic Games’ lawyers were seeking “injunctive relief and damages […] for misappropriation of trade secrets” and requests compensation for “a sum certain reflecting the maximum amount of damages”, as well as covering the developer’s legal costs after Sykes purportedly shared a “trade secret” and broke the terms of their non-disclosure agreement.

“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.” 

“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.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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