Epic Games studio has had its hands full between striving to satisfy fans and managing a legal battle with Apple while continuing works on the Epic Games Store. 2021 has been busy, to say the least. Yet a recent maneuver by Epic Games involving Fortnite has offered a bit of tumult on social media.
The incident was kicked off as Epic Games began cracking down on wager matches within Fortnite, a means of betting on the outcome of matches. These fees were typically minimal, as a means to ensure that all players were actively attempting to win the match rather than exploring esoteric mechanics for streams and videos. The matches could result in an overall decent purse, yet the wager matches were typically between high-level players within the Fortnite competitive scene. Shortly after the crackdown, #RIPFortnite began trending on Twitter as a means of protest.
The digital protest was soon drowned out, however, but a louder voice gathering under the banner of #ThanksYouEpicGames. Using the hashtag, fans reminisced of the times shared thus far in the title while applauding Epic Games for caring for the community. The lynchpin of the event is Epic Games messaging pros to remind gamers that betting on the outcome of matches is against the Terms of Service, and continued wagering would result in a ban.
What began as a sour note turned into a positive one for the community, reminiscing on the staggeringly long shelf-life of Fortnite along with the hours whiled away with friends in the battle royale. The restriction on wagers in matches is one well-placed: multiple competitive scenes have worked tirelessly to ensure the sanctity of integrity within titles. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match-fixing, where players would wager against themselves and conspire to throw matches, was conducted before players would shift to the newer Riot title Valorant.
This isn’t unexplored territory: it’s an arduous and long-winded battle that developers must take hard stances on, much like anti-cheat software. The hashtag trend, as such trends tend to do on the volatile social media platform, began being co-opted by various other entities with frustrations regarding battle passes and shotguns, and everything in between. As the war stands, however, #ThankYouEpicGames was the far stronger movement of the two.
Fortnite is available now on Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.