Epic Games is facing pressure from popular creators to do more about bad behavior by map creators in the community version of Fortnite.

The version of Fortnite known as UEFN (Fortnite Unreal Editor) is available to amateur and professional creators and has generated $320 million in spending last year. But competition for that money has become fierce among creators of Fortnite Island, or user-generated maps.

Several creators have filed takedown requests under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), alleging trademark infringement by those who allegedly copy their games. Epic Games imposed automatic suspensions on these creators, perhaps out of concern about doing the right thing legally.

But that upset some people who received “fake” DMCA takedowns. The “quintessential gamer” Andre Rebelo, who has a social following of 25 million people, has spent hundreds of hours over the past year creating his own Fortnite map. Since 2009, he has been viewed approximately 8 billion times on social media. Rebelo said in an interview with GamesBeat that he believes Epic Games needs to do more and communicate more about these issues.

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He pointed out that another big problem is “such as cheating.” In this case, Fortnite map creators are tricking players into “favorites” of their maps to gain access to hard-to-obtain weapons in the game. They placed the interaction on top of the “like” symbol in the game interface. Then, when the user clicks on it, they get a message thanking them for liking the map, when in reality the user just wants to do something in the game, Rebello said.

He points out that some of the big makers of the most popular Fortnite island have made this mistake, and it’s helped them stay ahead of the game. For some of these mapmakers, there’s a lot of money involved – revenue can reach $15 million for some games that use these strategies to stay ahead of the game. Maps can use this strategy to climb up the “favorite” game rankings, thus guaranteeing a large number of players.

Epic Games tweeted the following today after GamesBeat asked him about his concerns yesterday. It also pushes the “favorite” list lower in the UI, which is what players see when searching for a map to play in the discovery screen.

other problems

One top mapmaker, Geerzy (link), attempted to trademark a common language for popular maps such as “The Pit” to substantiate the DMCA’s crackdown on all other “pit maps.” Others pointed out that Geerzy did not invent “The Pit” (it originally came from the Minecraft modder).

A spokesperson for Epic Games said in an email to GamesBeat: “The DMCA is an important tool for protecting intellectual property while promoting innovation. Striking the right balance between these interests is critical to creating a fair ecosystem. We take claims against others seriously. Malicious use of the DMCA system and false copyright claims will not be tolerated. Anyone caught abusing the DMCA system may be subject to severe legal consequences and an Epic account ban. It is also against our rules to trick players into liking or favorites an island. This is a relatively new trend that is currently a focus of law enforcement. Creators who repeatedly attempt to defraud players will face monetization penalties and have their islands removed and their accounts suspended.”

Rebello liked the reaction.

What Rebelo doesn’t like about Epic’s solution is that they took the DMCA takedown request so seriously that they didn’t provide due process to the defendants, suspending the map for 10 days while Epic Games figured out whether the DMCA takedown request had merit. .

“Guilty until proven innocent,” Rebello said.

Rebello said this means that a popular rising map could be hit with delisting requests from existing competitors, and then its momentum on the chart could be completely halted or stalled. This could mean hundreds of thousands in lost revenue in a single day. Even if the strike is temporary, it cannot be resumed.

Rebelo is starting to show good results and has assembled a development team behind the scenes. He published maps, some of which were very popular. Then he was hit with a “fake DMCA”.

“We couldn’t clean it up,” Rebello said. “The way the current process works creates a lot of frustration. Epic is legally obligated to comply with the DMCA.”

The quintessential player’s name is Andre Rebelo, one of Fortnite’s most recognized creators.

Rebelo said when someone files a DMCA, it doesn’t necessarily make any difference who submitted it. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a well-known brand, a popular creator, or an average user. Rebelo said based on what he witnessed, maps were suspended for 10 days after submission, regardless of evidence.

“The problem is that this 10-day deletion period eliminates [the map] Start with discovery, legal or not. Discovery is essentially algorithms that can make or break a map,” he said.

If your map performs well, competitors can knock you out of the viral discovery funnel.

“Even if you come back, you may not be the same person anymore. For some people, this can be a life-changing amount of money,” Rebello said. “For other people, it might be the money they need to maintain their team. So it’s definitely a widespread issue.”

Rebelo said there have been instances on social media of competitors taking down rival maps. In Rebelo’s case, no evidence was presented, but his map has since been taken down. It was later reinstated, but the person who submitted the false DMCA received no penalties, he said.

“It doesn’t seem to matter who you are,” he said. “You just file the DMCA and it will [lead to] action.

Who owns what content becomes even more confusing in the world of user-generated content, much of which is borrowed from real-world brands. The halo-based Red vs. Blue map is a great example of this. Halo is owned by Microsoft, but modders have long been making user-generated content based on Red vs. Blue. In this area, it’s unclear who owns what among the map’s creators, making Epic’s job that much harder. Especially when competing DMCA takedown requests come and go.

“I’ve had several people contact me about bad actors abusing the system on multiple occasions and even providing false information in DMCA takedowns. And, sometimes there’s no evidence at all. So filing these files won’t actually have any impact,” Rebello explain. “People use it as a way to gain a competitive advantage because they don’t face any repercussions.”

Rebelo has attorneys to handle expungement requests. But other amateurs may not have the resources to fix the problem quickly. Sometimes a request may involve a legitimate case of “copycat”, but in the world of red-blue maps, who’s to say one party comes up with an idea first and then someone else copies it.

“I try to always go through the right system. But sometimes it does feel like you’re at the mercy of Epic,” he said. “The problem is, by the time the ruling comes out, the damage has already been done.”

Fortnite’s discovery system works like a carousel, showing content on the map it wants to highlight for a limited time.

Typical players at Rewired Fest.

The “Like Button” takes the form of a lightning bolt. But someone could create similar images for people to click on that actually mean something else.

“You walk up to the lightning bolt and it looks like you can get it, so you try to pick it up. Then it asks you if you want to collect the map,” he said.

Many players may just continue to “like” this map because they think it might allow them to pick up cool items. But it turns out there aren’t any items to pick up, and you were scammed.

“Most kids will go on from there and they won’t report it. But that’s obviously deceptive,” he said.

Rebelo said some of the largest maps on the platform do just that.

“They’re ashamed,” he said. “They should have known better. There should have been some impact.”

At the very least, Rebelo thinks Epic Games should communicate more about the actions it’s taking and the reasons for those actions.

Besides Typical Gamer, another popular creator who is unhappy about this is SypherPK. We will keep you updated as the situation develops.


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