Epic sues 14-year old for cheat mods in Fortnite

FortniteEpic Games‘ battle royal type game, has an issue with cheat mods in the game and community. They have filed two civil complaints against two alleged associates who use cheats from Addicted Cheats to actively kill Twitch Streamers players live online. This is known as stream sniping. Players actively look at Streamers live cam footage to find them and actively hunt them from an unfair advantage.

The service from Addicted Cheats is $5 – $15 a month. It allows people to use aimbots and track players throughout the map. The cheat has to modify the game’s source code which is against Fornite’End User License Agreement and the Copyright Act. Fortnite‘s rule of conduct doesn’t forbid stream sniping like Player Unknown Battlegrounds but forbids cheating. One defendant has been banned multiple times and has created multiple accounts and continued cheating. When asked why “Because its [sic] fun to rage and see streamers cry about how loaded they are and then get them stomped anyways.” He also found another way to cheat after Epic created a block on cheaters stating “Now method is exposed . . . Epic Eat my ass.” As you can tell, he doesn’t feel guilty over his actions.

The other accused is a 14-year-old. Whether Epic was aware of their age prior to the lawsuit. The mother is quite unhappy and has written a letter to the court which attacks Epic‘s handling of the case. TLDR version below from Kotaku:

  • She says that Fortnite’s terms require parental consent for minors and that she never gave this consent.
  • She says the case is based on a loss of profits but argues that it’s a free-to-play video game. In order to prove a loss Epic would need to provide a statement certifying that Rogers’ cheating directly caused a “mass profit loss”.
  • She claims that by going after individual players, rather than the websites selling/providing the software necessary to cheat in an online game, Epic is “using a 14-year-old child as a scapegoat”.
  • She claims that her son did not, as Epic allege, help create the cheat software, but simply downloaded it as a user, and that Epic “has no capability of proving any form of modification”.
  • Finally, the mother says that by releasing her son’s name publicly in conjunction with the move that Epic has violated Delaware laws related to the release of information on minors.

The 14-year-old lives in Delaware and can be sued for damages based on how much the considered loss in money Epic states in the lawsuit. The parent would have to pay the sum. Adolescents can also sign contracts but have different degrees. Epic has yet to respond on whether they will proceed on using the 14-year-old.

Sources

Kotaku

14-year-old sued with mother’s letter

 

 

 

TLDR: EA and Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy

Many people have heard the controversy surround Electronic Arts and their business practices about Star Wars Battlefront 2 which was released on 11/17/2017. The game itself initially left many people skeptical after the first game only contained a bare-bones Story and multiplayer. However, a great trailer, a bigger emphasis on a unique story and the ability to play more Star Wars characters gave everyone hype about the game. However, early access players noticed a huge issue with Star Wars Battlefront II that has snowballed into a horrible situation for EA. 

  • Players discovered that it would 4,528 hours or $2100 to unlock all content for Star Wars Battlefront II. Many characters are locked including Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker who are playable in the previous game. They must be unlocked by earning enough credits or obtaining them via a loot box by chance. Even purchasing the premium edition of the game didn’t unlock the main Star Wars characters.
  • Microtransactions can actually affect the actual gameplay. Rather than purely cosmetic items in loot boxes, players can potentially buy boost that can increase damage or armor for players. This creates an imbalance in the game and people willing to spend actual money earn competitive advantages.
  • Fan outcry led to a controversial statement from EA’s Community team. It has become the most downvoted comment on Reddit history. Players felt they were being ridiculed and that EA believes the high cost was reasonable.

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.

Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.

  • EA then lowers the cost of the characters but also lowers the amount players can earn to compensate. After players discovered it, EA then shuts off all in-game purchases temporary until future changes are made.
  • Many people began to return their purchases of the game but EA temporary disabled the feature until returning it. This led to low reviews from many users and has dropped the Metacritic score to 69 but 0.9 for users.
  • Shares for EA have dropped 10 percent and continuous fan and gamers outcry continue to trend over social media and news outlets. Many news organizations such as CNN are reporting Star Wars Battlefront II microtransaction loot boxes as “gambling.” European countries are potentially banning the loot box system as it is considered gambling.
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Evan Wingren stated that players anger are not justified. He compared the value of game time to monetary value and that games should be more expensive. Compared to how much time a game is played, Evan believes that microtransactions are ways for companies to earn money based on the “actual value.” It was revealed that he was an investor of EA and Comcast (EA’s parent company) which immediately discredit his statements as they are a potential bias.

Star Wars Battlefront II is an example of the game as a service model. You are making an initial investment in the game only to pay more to gain more features. Many players are angry at this model as it differs from the original “buy once and that’s it.” Games as a service have greatly increased the value of the industry but has distanced gamers and sowed in the Gaming companies. Star Wars Battlefront II is an extreme example and another example of EA‘s poor business practices to squeeze as much money from consumers as possible. Despite the backlash, EA is planning to bring back loot boxes to Star Wars and in their future games. EA is also aware of this backlash and actively strategized against it. By creating a Beta for players to learn about the initial flaws and show them to the world, EA can then market themselves as bringing changes into the game once it is released. When people learn that EA is changing the model, then people may actively begin purchasing Star Wars Battlefront II again. This creates a better view for consumers who don’t research too far into the changes which leave them to fall victim of similar business practices.

If you are against this system, don’t buy their games. Besides spreading the word about it, the biggest way you can affect them is not purchasing their games in the near future.

Sources:

Initial Reddit Post that created the current situation

EA’s Apology

Calculations to Unlock all Star Wars Content

EA Community Manager Response = most down voted comment in Reddit

Evan Wingren’s Analysis on Games Value

Evidence Against Evan Wingren’s Bias for EA

Marketing/PR Analysis of EA

Metacritic Score

 

PlayStation Experience 2017 Exhibitors and Playable Demos

PlayStation Experience 2017 starts in December 9th and 10th, 2017 in Anaheim, California. The event focuses on PlayStation game developers and upcoming games for the system. Most of the larger spaces will be for first party developers for PlayStation while smaller areas are focused on 3rd party developers and Indie games. They will have spaces directly for PSVR games and PlayStation Vue. Capcom Cup, the Street Fighter V qualifier tournament, will be held during the event as well. There will be a giveaway cards if you try out game demos, free items and goodies from vendors, and you can go to Video Game Awards for $20 more if you purchase a ticket for PlayStation Expo which is nearby the venue. As somebody who worked at PlayStation planning last years event, I’m sure it’ll go well. Unfortunately, it will also not come back to San Francisco. Although the list of developers and games you can play are below, unique announcements for the Press Conference.

Below is a list of developers and the list of all demos at the convention.

Developers:


  • 11 bit studios
  • Ackk Studios
  • Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Adult Swim Games
  • Aksys Games
  • AOne Games
  • Aquiris
  • Arcade Distillery
  • Arika CO.,LTD.
  • Armor Games Studios
  • Artifact 5
  • Ask an Enemy Studios
  • Atlus/Sega
  • Batterystaple Games and Fire Hose Games
  • Bend Studio
  • Bit Kid, Inc.
  • Blue Mammoth Games
  • Bungie & Activision
  • Capcom
  • Cleaversoft
  • Cococucumber
  • Crows Crows Crows
  • Dan & Gary Games
  • Dangen Entertainment
  • Deep Silver
  • Devolver Digital
  • Double Fine Productions
  • Drinkbox Studios
  • Electronic Arts
  • En Masse Entertainment / Bluehole, Inc.
  • Endnight Games
  • Epic Games
  • Finji + Infinite Fall
  • Firesprite
  • Friend & Foe AB
  • Grab Games
  • Grip Digital
  • Highwire Games
  • Hopoo Games, LLC
  • Household Games
  • Humble Bundle
  • iam8bit
  • Iggymob
  • Impulse Gear
  • Insomniac Games
  • ISVR
  • Japan Studio
  • Lienzo
  • Limited Run Games
  • London Studio
  • Mad Mimic
  • Media Molecule
  • Mommy’s Best Games
  • MunkyFun
  • Muse Games
  • NapNok Games
  • Naughty Dog
  • nDreams
  • Neowiz
  • Paranoid Productions
  • Playdius
  • Playism
  • Polyarc
  • Polyphony Digital
  • Quantic Dream
  • Rebellion
  • RocketPunch Games
  • Samurai Punk
  • San Diego Studio
  • Santa Monica Studio
  • Sirlin Games
  • Spooky Squid Games
  • Starbreeze
  • Studio Surgical Scalpels
  • Sunsoft
  • Supermassive Games
  • Survios
  • Team Meat
  • The Voxel Agents
  • Toadman Interactive
  • Tribetoy
  • Trion Worlds
  • Ubisoft Entertainment
  • Ultizero Games
  • USC Games
  • Versus Evil LLC
  • White Lotus Interactive
  • Wish Studios
  • Zoink Games

Demos for PlayStation 4 and PSVR:

  • 20XX
  • A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher
  • Aegis Defenders
  • At Sundown
  • Boundary
  • Brawlhalla
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Chasm
  • Children of Morta
  • Code :Hardcore
  • Crossing Souls
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package
  • Deadbolt
  • Destiny 2 – Expansion I: Curse of Osiris
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • DJ Max Respect
  • EarthNight
  • Fantasy Strike
  • Far Cry 5
  • fault milestone one
  • Fight Knight
  • Fighting EX Layer
  • Flipping Death
  • Fortnite Battle Royale
  • Frantics
  • Gang Beasts
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Guacamelee! 2
  • Guns of Icarus Alliance: PS4 Edition
  • Hidden Agenda
  • Horizon Chase Turbo
  • Hover
  • Iconoclasts
  • Immortal: Unchained
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Knights and Bikes
  • Knowledge Is Power
  • Lost Soul Aside (PSX 2017 Special Version)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
  • MLB The Show 17
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Moonlighter
  • Mothergunship
  • Mulaka
  • Night in the Woods
  • No Heroes Here
  • Omen of Sorrow
  • Pig Eat Ball
  • Pinstripe
  • Riverbond
  • Russian Subway Dogs
  • School Girl/Zombie Hunter
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Shape of the World
  • SkullPirates
  • Sonic Forces
  • Sonic Mania
  • Strange Brigade
  • Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
  • Super Daryl Deluxe
  • Super Meat Boy Forever
  • Tera
  • That’s You!
  • The Adventure Pals
  • The Cat and the Coup
  • The Church in the Darkness
  • The Forest
  • The Gardens Between
  • The Night Journey
  • The Swords of Ditto
  • Tokyo Xanadu EX+
  • Tower 57
  • Trove
  • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST]
  • Vane
  • Walden, a game
  • War Theatre
  • Way of the Passive Fist
  • World End Economica
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
  • YIIK: A Postmodern RPG

PlayStation VR

  • Anamorphine
  • Bow to Blood
  • Bravo Team
  • Dark Eclipse
  • Farpoint
  • Golem
  • Gungrave
  • Knockout League
  • League of War: VR Arena
  • Medusa and Man
  • Moss
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard
  • Shooty Fruity
  • Sprint Vector
  • The American Dream
  • The Inpatient
  • The Persistence
  • X Animal
  • Xing: The Land Beyond

Sources: 

PlayStation

PlayStation 4 Online Multiplayer is free for 5 days starting November 15

If you are a PlayStation 4 owner and don’t have PlayStation Plus membership, you can play ANY online multiplayer game starting from November 15th 10am GMT, through to Monday 20th, 10am GMT. This would help with the release of Star Wars: Battlefront 2  and Call of Duty: WW2 for any players who may want to buy memberships during the Holiday season. A smarter business move would do it during the Thanksgiving holiday which would encourage more people to purchase the games and have more time to try the multiplayer.

Sources:

Eurogamer