videogame end user license agreement

Epic Games, Inc. (“Epic”) is the publisher of the popular online multiplayer videogame Fortnite, released in 2017. In recent years, Fortnight has gained worldwide popularity with gamers and esports followers (culminating in July 2019 when a sixteen-year-old player won the $3 million prize for winning the Fortnite World Cup).  Players, in one version of the game, are dropped onto a virtual landscape and compete in a battle royale to survive.  In the real world, Epic recently survived its own encounter – not with the help of scavenged weapons or shield potions – but through its well-drafted end user license agreement (“EULA” or “terms”).

Earlier this month, the District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina granted Epic’s motion to compel individual arbitration of the claims of a putative class action.  The action arose in connection with a cyber vulnerability that allowed hackers to breach user accounts. The court concluded that the arbitration provision contained in the EULA was enforceable in this case, even where a minor was the person who ultimately assented to the terms. (Heidbreder v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 19-348 (E.D.N.C. Feb. 3, 2020)).