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What just happened? One wouldn't expect Tim Sweeny, CEO of Epic Games, to call a Fortnite Token a "scam," but then the cryptocurrency project has no official association with the company or the battle royale shooter. Sweeney later tweeted that Epic's lawyers are on the case, so the token could be shut down soon enough.
PC Gamer reports that the Fortnite Token first appeared at the end of last year. Given its name and the big F it uses for a logo, you'd be forgiven for thinking there was an official affiliation with the game itself. But no; the creators describe it as a fan-created project "with no specified owner or company structure behind it."
On May 29, the Fortnite Token team invited people to mint NFT tokens to sell on the OpenSea site. It seems that Sweeney noticed or was informed of the tweet yesterday, replying with "This is a scam."
This is a scam.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 6, 2022
The Fortnite Token developers weren't put off by criticism from the Epic Games boss. "Fortnite Token isn't a scam cryptocurrency project," they replied. "Instead, this is a fair-launch, community-driven, Fortnite game fans-created cryptocurrency project with no specified owner or company structure behind it or a CEO deciding on its future."
Sweeney, whose willingness to engage in a Twitter war rivals Elon Musk, hit back with an explanation most people would have thought was pretty obvious: "That's not how trademarks and copyrights work though," he wrote. "You can't use the Fortnite name and images without permission to market an unrelated product."
That's not how trademarks and copyrights work though. You can't use the Fortnite name and images without permission to market an unrelated product.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 6, 2022
Sweeney followed up by confirming there is no Fortnite cryptocurrency, adding an ominous (for the Fortnite Token devs) warning that Epic's lawyers are "on it." He also blasted crypto markets for allowing these types of copyright-infringing tokens.
Sites selling NFTs have long had a problem with shady digital tokens: Cent suspended transactions over a flood of counterfeit digital assets earlier this year, and a slew of unofficial tokens featuring the likeness of YouTube stars and influencers hit OpenSea around the same time.
All this doesn't mean Sweeney is entirely against the technology. Valve famously banned blockchain games from Steam last year, which led to its rival's CEO confirming the Epic Games Store will allow them on its storefront. However, he did add that Epic wouldn't be using crypto in its own titles.
Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic's not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance. https://t.co/6W7hb8zJBw— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 15, 2021