The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has finalized a $245 million fine against Epic Games. The fine comes as punishment for Epic using what the FTC calls “dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases and let children rack up unauthorized charges without any parental involvement.”
Specifically, the FTC references Epic Games’ popular Fortnite. According to the FTC, the dark patterns included button configurations that it viewed as both inconsistent and confusing. This configuration saw players able to make purchases using a single button press.
“The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent,” the order says.
What Does The FTC Fine Against Epic Games Go To?
The $245 million fine will be used to provide refunds to customers. The FTC order also prevents Epic from charging players without “affirmative consent” moving forward.
Lastly, Epic is no longer allowed to lock the accounts of players who open disputes against unauthorized charges.
As far as getting a refund, eligibility is determined by the following per the FTC:
- 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.
Anyone who thinks they may be owed a refund can get more info via the FTC website. More details regarding the process will be added to the site as it’s available.
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