Epic Games found itself dealing with a spot of PR ugliness last week when it came to light that one of the people caught up in its Fortnite cheating lawsuits was a 14-year-old boy. That revelation came alongside a very take-no-guffola reply from the lad's mother, who claimed among other things that Epic was using her son as a scapegoat—and that releasing his name to the public was in itself illegal.
In a letter sent to the court on November 30 (via TorrentFreak), Epic's legal counsel pointed out that legal restrictions on using the name of a minor in legal documents only applies if the person is question is known to be a minor. "We did not violate Rule 5.2(a) or Local Civil Rule 17.2 because we did not know when we filed the papers that Defendant is a minor," it states.
The response added that while the mother's use of her child's name in the letter she sent to the court could be taken as a waiver, "we plan to include only Defendant's initials or redact his name entirely in all future filings with the Court." It concludes by seeking guidance on the previous filing, which included the underage defendants full name: Whether the current filing should be sealed, if the action should be re-filed with the name redacted, or simply left as-is.
The optics of suing people for cheating in a videogame may not be great, but the suggestion of "future filings" in the response pretty clearly indicates that Epic is not yet ready to back off. Yet it doesn't appear to be out to financially destroy, or even punish, the targets of its litigious wrath, either. A settlement reached with Charles Vraspir, one of the Fortnite cheaters the studio sued in October, permanently forbids him from cheating in Fortnite or any other Epic game, under the threat of a minimum $5000 penalty if he does. But there's no mention of any other penalties, meaning that as long as he keeps his nose clean in Epic's games, he's effectively off the hook.