In a lawsuit filed in a Quebec Superior Court, the company alleges that Lucas Johnston violated a non-disclosure agreement by publishing “highly confidential information” while employed as a user experience tester at Keywords Studios in Montreal.
Epic alleges that Johnston took a screenshot of the game’s new map on August 30, two weeks before it was published on an official Fortnite Competitions user forum, The Canadian Press reports.
It’s alleged that Johnston, who was fired the day after the image was posted, had shared the picture with his Fortnite playing partners.
Epic claims Johnston’s actions deprived it of the element of surprise, alerted rivals to its strategy and affected its reputation among its peers.
The company, which is seeking damages exceeding $85,000, filed a similar lawsuit against a US-based tester in October.
Michael Shortt, a Montreal-based IP lawyer at Fasken, suggested these lawsuits are likely more about sending a message to workers than they are about recouping potential lost earnings.
Fortnite battle royale ended season X in mid-October with a live event which saw the game’s original map sucked into a black hole.
Monthly Fortnite revenue slumped to a near two-year low in September 2019, ahead of the launch of Fortnite Chapter 2, according to the latest digital market report from Nielsen’s SuperData.