The creators of Fortnite have launched legal proceedings against the organisers of a “scam” Fortnite Live event which was compared to Fyre Festival.
Exciting Events ran the event, which was slammed by parents whose children were forced to queue for hours to use “overpriced” and “underwhelming” attractions.
The event firm immediately ceased trading on Tuesday after Epic Games confirmed they had “issued a claim” in the High Court.
In an email to those who had bought tickets, organiser Shaun Lord told ticket holders that the legal proceedings have had a “catastrophic impact on the company’s ability to trade” and forced them to “cease all trading activities immediately.”
He added: “There were longer than expected entrance and wristband/token queues at the beginning of the day, which caused impatience and frustration for some parents.
“The organisers worked through the night to address the queueing issue and emailed all of the Sunday Ticket Holders with regards to the refund policy.
“We also drafted in more staff for the Sunday, providing a speedier entrance and then completely cut out the next queue by offering wristband and tokens to purchase whilst in the entry queue. This was successful and Sunday visitors enjoyed a fantastic atmosphere, with less queueing to get into the event.
“However, in response to the media frenzy, Epic Games have now forced the shutdown of the two pre-booked future Fortnite Live events, with the immediate removal of all promotional communication from the public domain, which is why you will have seen all of the Fortnite Live media disappear.”
The two remaining events were set to take place in Spalding and Newark.
Tickets for the event at the Norfolk Showground Arena started at £12, with wristbands for activities costing an additional £20, and many spent hundreds getting to the arena near Norwich.
Mr Lord said ticket holders who had refunds agreed on Saturday or had requested them before 10am on Sunday would get their money back, but all others would be added to a creditor list.
Reenie Greenwood, whose husband took their 12-year-old son and his friends to the event, said she had “no sympathy” for the organisers and isn’t expecting a refund.
She said: “Reading the email I presume it’s meant to evoke some kind of sympathy but I’m afraid I don’t feel any.
“They can’t seriously have thought they wouldn’t receive such huge interest. Given the popularity of the game they must surely have done some research in regard to possible numbers.
“I’m not very surprised that Epic Games have taken legal action either – given that the ‘event’ received such terrible publicity, of course they’re going to be concerned.
“Being billed as ‘The Fortnite Live Event of The Year’ is going to get you noticed. If it then goes belly up, you’re sure to be asked to answer some questions.
“For an events company who have apparently organised quite a lot previous to this, they’ve seriously dropped the ball.
“It’s a hard lesson for sure but as I previously mentioned, I can’t say I have any sympathy.
“I dislike being ripped off in such a fashion, so not getting a refund is going to jar my nerves for a while yet. I’ve gotten over the disappointment of the ‘event’ itself.”
An Epic Games spokesman said: “The quality of our player experience is incredibly important to us, whether it’s inside the game or at official public events like last year’s Fortnite Pro-Am.
“Epic Games was not in any way associated with the event that took place in Norwich and we’ve issued a claim against the organizers in the High Court of London.”
Article by Megan White, originally published 20/02/2019 by The Evening Standard. SOURCE