Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that a recently announced cryptocurrency called Fortnite Token (opens in a new tab) is “a scam,” and warned that the company is preparing legal action to shut it down. However, the creators of Fortnite Token have pushed back, describing it as a fan-made project “with no specific owner or company structure behind it.”
The Fortnite Token first appeared in late 2021, and there was no mistaking its attempt to tie into Epic’s mega-hit battle royale:
Despite that big, shiny “F”, the Fortnite Token maintained a relatively low-profile presence until today, when Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney apparently learned of a May 29 invitation to “start minting your creations.” NFT on the nftoken site and sell on OpenSea.” and answered bluntly:it is a scam (opens in a new tab).”
But rather than pull the plug and head for the hills, the crypto team stood their ground. “Fortnite Token is not a fraudulent cryptocurrency project,” he replied. “Instead, this is a community-driven, fair-launch cryptocurrency project created by fans of the Fortnite game with no specific owner or company structure behind it or a CEO deciding on its future.”
Sweeney, who seems to have a lot of time on his hands for a guy who’s the CEO and major shareholder of a multibillion-dollar company with, one would guess, a pretty robust legal department, picked up the gauntlet. “However, that’s not how trademarks and copyrights work,” he replied. “You may not use the Fortnite name and images without permission to market an unrelated product.”
However, that is not how trademarks and copyrights work. You may not use the Fortnite name and images without permission to market an unrelated product.June 6, 2022
Shortly after, he invoked the specter of Epic’s legal department, repeating the claim that Fortnite Token is a scam and adding that “Epic’s lawyers are on it. (opens in a new tab).”
However, that was not the end. Sweeney reviewed the Fortnite Token tweets and responded with a variation of “this is a scam” to no fewer than nine of them, dating back to early February. However, while Sweeney obviously has a very negative view of Fortnite Token, his enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies in general appears to be unabated.
“When a new technology comes out, some people put it to good use and some people put it to bad use,” he said. tweeted (opens in a new tab). “It would be terribly short-sighted to ban an entire field of technology for that reason.”
That dovetails with Sweeney’s earlier position on the issue: he said in October 2021 that while Epic won’t incorporate cryptocurrency into its own games, “it will be splash games that make use of blockchain technology (opens in a new tab) provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-classified by an appropriate group.”
“As a technology, blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralized business model that incentivizes investment in hardware to expand database capacity. This has utility whether or not a particular use is successful.” “.
Epic’s position contrasts sharply with that of Valve, which in December 2021 banned “applications based on blockchain technology.” (opens in a new tab) that issue or permit the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” from Steam. Unfortunately, Epic’s friendly policy toward blockchain games doesn’t seem to be off to a great start: Epic Store’s first NFT game, Grit, (opens in a new tab) is a cowboy battle royale that’s a little more “what the heck” than “yeehaw, mate!”
Epic Games declined to comment on the matter beyond Sweeney’s comments on Twitter.