Epic Cracks Down On Fortnite Leak Website, Saying It Advertised Illicit Mods

Illustration for article titled Epic Cracks Down On iFortnite/i Leak Website, Saying It Advertised Illicit Modsem/em

A prominent Fortnite leak website run by a teenager has shut down its Twitter account, claiming that Epic Games threatened legal action. The move appears to be one in a string of hardline enforcement decisions by the company against younger players who the company claims violate their terms of service with cheats or mods.
As first reported by Eurogamer, FNBRLeaks is shutting down social media feeds after being contacted by Epic Games. Site proprietor “Preston” announced the closures via a Twitlonger post earlier today.

“Due to the request of an Epic Games Attorney who I’m not going to disclose, my Twitter, Discord, YouTube, Instagram, and GitHub must be deleted, or else they will take action,” the statement reads.Thank you all for the support and followers over my 7 month span of the FNBRLeaks twitter. Sadly, everything comes to an end.”

Illustration for article titled Epic Cracks Down On iFortnite/i Leak Website, Saying It Advertised Illicit Modsem/em

As a result, FNBRLeaks has shut down their Twitter accounts—which boasted 243,000 followers— and their Discord server. Their website and Instagram are still live and running as of the time of publication, with a shift toward news stories compared to leaks. The last story in the site’s leak section was posted on December 10th. It’s about a candy cane themed weapon skin supposedly coming to the game. Earlier leak stories covered things like sound files for swords, leaked cosmetic items and information on skins potentially unlocked in Fortnite Season Seven.

Epic Games states that leaks were not the major issue at play.

“The owner of this account and others promoted and advertised the sale of game modification tools which violate our terms of service, and this is not directly related to data mining or leaking,” an Epic Games spokesperson said in a statement to Kotaku.

A portion of the apparent cease and desist letter, acquired by Eurogamer, demands an end to numerous activities including “circumventing security measures Epic put in place to prevent access to copyright-protected code,” “distributing any technology that circumvents” those security measures, “creating and distributing derivative works of Epic’s protect software, and “misappropriating Epic’s confidential and proprietary information.”

“The fact that he is a teenager makes this no less true,” the letter states.

“All I can say now is that I was forced to remove all ‘unauthorized Epic-related content’ from my social media,” FNBRLeaks told Kotaku via email. “Since my leaking account is based around that, I was forced to delete all the tweets and remove it. This goes with my YouTube, which was actually originally terminated by Epic Games, my Main twitter, Instagram, and GitHub. Until this clears up, that’s all the information I can give as of now.”

Epic Games has previously taken hard stances against cheaters. In the process of combating alleged cheaters last October, Epic filed a suit against a cheater who turned out to be 14. FNBRLeaks’ situation is not as severe yet, but marks another example of Fornite masterminds turning out to be much younger than expected.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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I’ve never played Fortnite, so I’m curious what this modding tool does. The Eurogamer report quotes the cease-and-desist letter, which seems to reference leaks based on data-mining:

““spoiled the game for millions of of people who play and/or watch Fortnite, and negatively impact[ed] those who work hard to create and update Fortnite. The fact that he is a teenager makes this no less true”.

My usual interpretation of “modding tools” is a program that basically adds scripts that allow people to modify the game, which I understand would be problematic for an online focused game. Is it the modding tool in question that also enables the data-mining?

Because I wonder, if this is really about the modding tool alone, and the data-mining is just PC users unpacking and reading encrypted files (and therefore “spoiling” future content), would Epic still persue them for just the act of reading files and announcing possible future content on its own?