The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that Fortnite-maker Epic Games has agreed to pay $520 million as part of a settlement for deceptive practices in the popular online video game. The settlement follows government allegations that Epic Games used “dark patterns” to trick players into making unwanted purchases, such as costumes, dance moves, and “loot crates”. The company also allowed children under the age of 13 to make charges without parental consent, violating federal law protecting children’s privacy.
As a result of the settlement, $245 million will be used to provide refunds to eligible consumers. Players who were charged for unwanted in-game purchases between January 2017 and September 2022, parents whose credit cards were charged without their knowledge by their children between January 2017 and November 2018, and individuals whose accounts were locked after disputing unauthorized charges, may all be eligible to file a claim.
To file a claim, consumers need a claim number or their Epic Account ID. Claim numbers are included in an email sent by the FTC, and millions of emails have already been sent to Fortnite gamers. The claim filing period will run until January 17, 2024. The refund amount per person is yet to be determined and will depend on the number of claims submitted.
Following the settlement, Epic Games has pledged to implement additional measures to prevent unintended purchases in Fortnite. The company states that the video game industry is constantly evolving, and while laws have not changed, their application has evolved. It recognizes the need for innovation and ensuring player expectations are met.
If you believe you may be eligible for a refund from the Epic Games settlement, visit the claim site provided by the FTC for more information on how to file a claim.
– The Associated Press