Federal Trade Commission issues an order forcing Epic games to pay out $245 Million to Fortnite players for “tricking users” into spending in-game purchases. The free game made a fortune from unintentional charges. Epic games will now have to return the user’s money.
According to an FTC press release, Fortnite used confusing and complicated button configurations that tricked users into making unwanted charges with the press of a single button. Moreover, there was no purchase approval process, allowing minors, a large demographic of the popular battle royale game, to charge without parents’ consent.
According to Dec 2022 details, Epic has also agreed to pay the fine to settle the FTC allegations that the company violated the Children’s online privacy protection Act rule. The order was confirmed on March 14 and stated that Epic Games must pay a fine due to allegedly tricked players.
The FTC order is a final agreement between the commission and Epic games from Dec 2022. As per the press release from Epic games, the video game developer accepted the agreement in an effort to be at the forefront of consumer protection and offer a better experience for our players.
Since the contract, Epic games has taken actions to prevent unnecessary charges, such as greater clarity when it comes to saving payment information and a “hold to purchase mechanic” to confirm the user’s intent to buy.
The company also upgrades its chargeback policy to account for non-fraudulent charge arguments. Earlier, a chargeback would automatically disable the person’s account as a fraud prevention measure. But now epic games only limit account access when signs of fraud are present.
Epic Games have offered only eight days since the order was finalized to pay the fine. Although the FTC will hand out the funds to affected users at its direction, though there is currently no timeframe for when users can expect a refund, as per the FTC.
Players can contact FTC.gov/Fortnite, who have been unfairly charged for fortnite purchases, for a refund process.
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