I’m not surprised that Fortnite crypto exists. Whether it’s Nintendo or Minecraft NFTs, crypto scammers love to make environment-destroying projects out of other people’s IPs. What’s surprising is that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney bothered to give the Fortnite Tokens project his time of day. “This is a scam,” he tweeted at the account yesterday. (h/t: PC Gamer)
The creators claim that the cryptocurrency is “a fair-launch, community-driven, Fortnite game fans-created cryptocurrency project with no specified owner or company structure behind it or a CEO deciding on its future.” Presumably, the last part means that they don’t think that anyone can be held legally responsible for Fortnite Tokens. Sweeney disagreed. “That’s not how trademarks and copyrights work though,” he replied. “You can’t use the Fortnite name and images without permission to market an unrelated product.”
Fortnite Tokens use the Fortnite logo, but that seems to be where the similarities with Epic’s popular battle royale end. Even their collection of generic-looking non-fungible tokens don’t have anything to do with Fortnite. So why did the creator go through the trouble of copyright infringement? According to their crypto page, they did it for the “viral growth from our good ‘ole fashion memes.”
Hopefully, he can meme his way out of a potential lawsuit. Sweeney was not impressed, and tweeted that he would have Epic’s lawyers look into the tokens. While it doesn’t seem that a lawsuit is pending yet, Fortnite Tokens was removed from Telegram following a complaint from Epic Games. Epic did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.
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But let’s not pat Epic’s CEO on the back too quickly. In October 2022, Sweeney tweeted that the Epic Games Store would allow blockchain games on the platform, as long as they were compliant with the law. So he’s not against the planet-destroying technology itself, but rather the extent to which its community is filled with scammers. Just yesterday, blockchain developers announced that NFT-based game Grit would be listed on the Epic Games Store. Maybe if crypto scammers annoy Sweeney enough, Epic will change its mind. Probably not, but I can dream.