Another playtester for Fortnite is allegedly facing legal action, a report by Global News states. Montreal game tester Lucas Johnston is under fire from Epic Games for allegedly leaking “highly confidential information” in the form of a screenshot.
Johnston worked at Keywords Studio, a company that provides QA, localisation, and other services to developers and publishers, and in this case, it provided playtesting services for Epic Games prior to Fortnite Chapter 2 launching.
The lawsuit alleges that Johnston leaked a screenshot of the new map. The screenshot was allegedly taken on the 30th of August, with the image being leaked to the Fortnite Competitions forum on the 12th of September. Johnston was fired a day later.
It is claimed in the documents that this leak, amongst others, “deprived the claimant of the element of surprise,” tipped off other companies to its strategy, and affected its reputation.
“As the creative projects created by the claimant require a long period of time between the start of their conception and their commercialization, confidentiality is thus, throughout the process, essential in order to offer its users innovative projects at the forefront of the video game technology industry,” Epic Games wrote.
On the other side, Johnston claims in the documents that he took the screenshot and emailed it to himself but is unaware of how it ended up online.
Epic Games are seeking damages of more than $85,000 for the breaking of a non-disclosure agreement, though Michael Shortt, a Montreal-based intellectual property lawyer with law firm Fasken, believes that this isn’t about the money, and is rather about sending a message to players and staff about leaks and the damage they can cause to a company’s plans.
One is for certain, this surely isn’t the last lawsuit against alleged leakers that we’ll see, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on whether or not other companies follow in Epic Games’ wake in similar situations.