A historic settlement between the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Epic Games, developer of the hit battle royale game Fortnite, addressing misleading in-game sales practices, will return $245 million to users.
The settlement, which resulted from claims that Epic Games used “deceptive practices,” grants the FTC victory in regulating online gaming and safeguarding consumers and initiates the claim process for over 37 million users.
For what it termed “dark patterns.” the FTC took a strong stance against Fortnite’s creator last year. The actions reportedly caused gamers to make accidental purchases, which resulted in the $245 million settlement intended to compensate impacted consumers.
The viral video game Fortnite has been a source of amusement and controversy due to its ability to host battles with as many as one hundred people on a digital island. Millions of gamers have been contacted by the FTC via email with claim numbers after they set up a specific website for Fortnite refunds. Claim filing is open to parents and gamers who were victims of fraudulent transactions between January 2017 and September 2022. If a parent’s kid charged their credit card unauthorizedly between January 2017 and November 2018, they may be eligible.
January 17, 2024, is when claims must be submitted. About $6.62 could be sent to every impacted Epic Games client. According to FTC regulations, anyone claiming under a parent’s or guardian’s name must be at least 18. Also, to ensure invoicing is fair and stop unintentional purchases, the settlement says Epic Games has to adjust how they handle in-game payments.
Epic is not allowed to employ dark patterns or charge customers without their permission according to the terms of their agreement with the FTC. Epic is also not allowed to lock players out of their accounts when users seek chargebacks from their credit card providers to dispute unwelcome payments.