The makers of Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular video games, has sued a games tester for leaking its “trade secrets” concerning the latest edition of the game.
In the lawsuit, filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Epic Games claimed that Ronald Sykes leaked information about ‘chapter two’ of the online video game on Twitter and violated a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
Sykes had played a version of the new Fortnite content as a “user experience tester” in September ahead of its release earlier this month.
“Sykes attempted to ‘give the game away’ by leaking Epic’s secrets and spoiling the suspense that Epic had been working to generate and build for months in the run up to Fortnite Chapter 2,” the suit claimed.
The suit comes just weeks after a marketing promotion in which the Fortnite game map was sucked inside a black hole in the game, which was inaccessible for two days.
Chapter two of Fortnite debuted earlier this month with a new map, and new gameplay features.
“Anticipation in the Fortnite community about what would happen next in Fortnite was perhaps at an all-time high at the end of the tenth season of Fortnite (‘Season X’),” the suit said.
“Speculation in the Fortnite community was rampant that an entirely new map might replace the one where Fortnite Battle Royale had taken place since it was first introduced two years earlier,” it added.
According to the suit, Sykes was employed by Epic as a tester for the new content at the company’s headquarters on September 21.
As part of his work with the company, Sykes signed an NDA agreeing not to disclose any information about the upcoming second chapter of the game, Epic said.
Epic claimed that Sykes posted on Twitter, in reply to another Fortnite player, commenting: I played [season 11] and can tell you the new stuff”.
Using a different Twitter handle, Sykes also allegedly revealed that users would be able to swim in the new edition of the game.
Epic said: “A trade secret is information that is valuable because it is secret. If it loses its secrecy, it loses its value. A secret can no longer surprise those to whom it has already been disclosed.”
The games developer is suing Sykes for breach of contract, as well as two counts of misappropriation of trade secrets under federal and North Carolina state law.