The CEO of the company that makes ‘Fortnite’ spent days attacking Google for scoring ‘cheap PR points’ by exposing a flaw in the game’s security

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games.

caption
Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games.
source
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Samsung

  • The CEO of Epic Games, the game studio that makes the battle-royale game “Fortnite,” has accused Google of irresponsibly exposing a flaw in the game’s security to score “cheap PR points.”
  • “Fortnite” came to Android phones this summer, and Epic Games chose not to host it through the Google Play app store to avoid giving Google a 30% cut of its sales.
  • A Google engineer later publicly identified a weakness in the security of “Fortnite” for Android.
  • Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said revealing the flaw so quickly did nothing but give hackers a chance to exploit it.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has spent days tweeting his discontent after a Google engineer publicly exposed a security flaw in the code for the Android version of “Fortnite.”

Responding to people on Twitter, Sweeney spent the weekend and Monday saying Google was irresponsible in how quickly it revealed the flaw.

He also said that Epic Games had asked Google to hold off on publishing until it had completed an update to fix the bug but that Google refused.

Sweeney added that Google’s rapid publishing of the flaw was an attempt to “score cheap PR points.”

He even said the decision to announce the bug put more gamers at risk, as it could have alerted hackers to the opportunity to hack those who hadn’t yet received the update.

But that wasn’t the end of his complaints. He also expressed disappointment at how much information Google published about the security flaw. Sweeney said the company could have alerted the public to the weakness without releasing specific details about the code.

When a beta version of “Fortnite” launched on Android this summer, Epic Games made the bold decision to skip the Google Play app store. Instead, players download the game directly from the game’s website. Sweeney told Business Insider that this was a way of avoiding the 30% store tax that Google charges, which he views as excessive.

“User security is our top priority, and as part of our proactive monitoring for malware we identified a vulnerability in the Fortnite installer,” a Google spokeswoman told Business Insider. “We immediately notified Epic Games and they fixed the issue.”