That's cheating! Video-game companies suing crooked players

By EMERY P. DALESIO Features Associated Press

A video-game maker is suing online gamers for designing or using computer code allowing them to crush competitors playing the popular "Fortnite" survival video game.

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Epic Games says in lawsuits in North Carolina and California against three Americans and six foreign gamers that the game's experience and profit potential is spoiled when cheaters win. The free-to-play online game generates revenue by charging for cosmetic options like different outfits for virtual characters.

The Cary, North Carolina-based company says the game's copyright and terms of use contract are violated when unauthorized computer code allows some to defeat rivals in the game played by up to 100 people at a time.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Kevin Greene says some video game makers are aggressively cracking down, but litigation also could drive away other players.