After three months of waiting, the lawsuit against Fortnite developers Epic Games was finalized. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission ruled that they must pay $245 million in refunds to Fortnite players.
Recall that Epic Games was ordered to pay a fine of more than $500 million last December for violating rules protecting minors in Fortnite. Now, the exact amount to be reimbursed by the creators of Fortnite to those players who were “tricked” into making in-game purchases is known.
FTC rules and Epic must repay $245 million to gamers
In December, the FTC publicly accused Epic Games of using “dark patterns” to trick its players into making unintended Fortnite in-store purchases. Three months later, the FTC has been proven right, and the popular Battle Royale developers must pay back $245 million to affected players.
FTC finalizes order requiring Fortnite maker Epic Games to pay $245 million for tricking users into making unwanted charges. FTC will use the money to provide refunds to consumers: https://t.co/Mp7JJyRk7y
— FTC (@FTC) March 14, 2023
The official report published by the FCT says that Epic programmed some cheats for players of any age (especially children) to make purchases of skins, dances, and characters unintentionally within the game. In addition, they also alleged that, due to different confusing settings in the game, Epic tricked children into making purchases they didn’t want to make.
Who will receive the refund?
With this fine to be paid by Epic Games, many gamers are beginning to wonder who can receive the refund. The FTC has released a plan for those gamers who may receive them:
- Parents whose children made unauthorized purchases from the Epic Games Store from January 2017 to November 2018.
- Those players were charged V-Bucks for unwanted items from January 2017 to September 2022.
- Players who had their accounts blocked for disputing these unauthorized charges.
The FTC has created an official Fortnite page on its website to access this refund. In addition, Fortnite was forbidden to charge players without their consent, and developers will not be able to block access to the accounts of players who have the purpose of disputing the charges.
In conclusion, the $245 million fine that Epic Games will have to pay will go, among other things, to refund money to affected players. However, the amount is less than half of what the FTC requested in December; $520 million was the amount the FTC considered an appropriate fine to compensate harmed users.
There is no doubt that this sets an excellent precedent for the rights of all players. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the integrity of players concerning money transactions within video games like Fortnite, which, without a doubt, are within everyone’s reach.
To conclude, we cannot overlook that after the trial between Apple and Epic Games in 2021, it was revealed that Fortnite developers had raised more than $5 billion through Fortnite in 2018, 2020, and 2021.
Header: Epic Games