While the documents and emails being released as part of the Epic v Apple case are often important and full of detailed information, I am very much enjoying the ones—like this—where billionaire executives are forced into embarrassing apologies when their company fucks up.
Here for your enjoyment is an email Tim Sweeney had to send to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in May 2019, shortly after a colossal screw-up behind the scenes of the Epic Games Store resulted in pirates and scammers going absolutely wild with copies of The Division 2, with “fraudulent transactions” of the game accounting for between 70-90% of all those recorded.
“Fraud rates for other Epic games store titles are under 2% and Fortnite is under 1%”, Sweeney points out. “So 70% fraud was an extraordinary situation.”
I’m writing to apologize for the shortcomings in our Epic Games store implementation and our Uplay integration.
In the past 48 hours, the rate of fraudulent transactions on Division 2 surpassed 70% and was approaching 90%. Sophisticated hackers were creating Epic accounts, buying Ubisoft games with stolen credit cards, and then selling the linked Uplay accounts faster than we were disabling linked Uplay purchases for fraud.
Fraud rates for other Epic games store titles are under 2% and Fortnite is under 1%. So 70% fraud was an extraordinary situation.
To stop the fraud, we disabled purchasing of Ubisoft games. We will make our best efforts to restore service as quickly as we can. This depends on a real-time system for disabling refunded and fraudulent purchases on Uplay, and anti-fraud improvements in Epic’s service. This work will likely take at least 2 weeks to complete.
The fault in this situation is entirely Epic’s, and all of the minimum revenue guarantees remain in place to ensure our performance.
I’m sorry for the trouble,