"We take cheating seriously, and we'll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players". "Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim". Epic elaborated in its statement that it doesn't condone cheating no matter the age of the offender. This only helps further Epic's lawsuit against him but the mother has made a strong case in regards to how her son is only a minor and that there was no consent.
In addition to having their initiative backfire on them, Epic Games did not count on the mother blasting them with some serious legal arguments that they have yet to respond to.
As we reported last month, Epic Games named two Fortnite players in a lawsuit against cheaters in Fortnite: Battle Royale. In it, she makes some very valid claims/points regarding the actions of her son. Epic makes a teenager "scapegoat", because it is not able to cope with cheaters. This led to Epic suing the two players in a North Carolina federal court, arguing that modification of the game's code is against Fortnite's End User License Agreement (EULA) and the Copyright Act.
The lawsuit stemmed from Epic's stated goal of zero tolerance for cheating, with both defendants allegedly using an aimbot from a site that sells programs (The site costs between $5-15 a month to subscribe).
Basically, what the mother is trying to point out is that her son, like hundreds of others, simply downloaded the cheats on a popular website, but he neither developed nor distributed them.
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". More understandably, the company may just want the threat of a lawsuit hanging in the air to deter future cheaters from making YouTube or Twitch live streams of the behavior and encouraging others to do the same. This, according to Epic, violates the Terms of Service. It's also up in the air right now whether Epic really plans on following through.
Just about every game company hates cheaters, but they are a fact of life. We agree to these contracts without reading them or even understanding what types of behavior scale from prohibited to illegal. By law the company was obliged to remove, or to go to court. Cheating may be something developers have a legitimate interest in stamping out, but doing so by using their formidable resources to crush a 14-year-old would appear to be a step too far.