Epic Games Agrees to Settlements with Federal Trade Commission Costing $520 Million

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Epic Games is probably best known for being behind the famous video game Fortnite. The game has expanded so much, it’s insane. However, Epic just got hit by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC recently resolved two cases against Epic Games Inc. which will cost the gaming company $520 million. One of those lawsuits cost them $245 million in customer refunds for the use of “dark patterns” and billing which nudged customers into unintentionally buying items.

The FTC stated:

Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button.

These tactics led to hundreds of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges for consumers.

For example, players could be charged while attempting to wake the game from sleep mode, while the game was in a loading screen, or by pressing an adjacent button while attempting simply to preview an item.

Epic agreed to repay the following three groups and the FTC will be posting more details on a website and releasing details through email updates.

    • Parents whose children made an unauthorized credit card purchase in the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018

    • Fortnite players who were charged in-game currency (V-Bucks) for unwanted in-game items (such as cosmetics, llamas, or battle passes) between January 2017 and September 2022

  • Fortnite players whose accounts were locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after disputing unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.

The other $275 million dollars are a penalty being charged for getting the personal information of Fortnite gamers that were under the age of 13 without either telling the child’s parents or getting the parents’ consent. This fine is “the biggest penalty ever imposed for breaking an FTC rule.”

Epic has shared a notice where they discuss the settlements and some of the changes that they have made or are making. They’ve agreed with the FTC to have an exact yes or no option for saving payment details.

Via: PC Mag, AP News

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