Epic games have to pay for patchy Fortnite microtransaction practices
Turns out they made a very costly mistake.
In an industry upheaval, a US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) order has been finalized requiring Epic Games to pay $245 million for using “dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases” in Fortnite. To make matters worse, the FTC goes on to explain that these patterns allowed children to “make unauthorized charges without parental involvement.”
The $245 million will be used by the FTC to reimburse consumers who have fallen victim to these issues. This was only compounded by another part of the FTC’s complaint, which said, “Epic has also suspended the accounts of customers who have disputed unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.”
Not only does Epic Games have to pay that fine, but the order makes it so they can’t continue to ban people who dispute or initiate chargebacks. It also demands that consumers cannot be charged “without their express consent”. This was likely the reason for the chance months ago in the item shop where purchases now require holding down a button for a set amount of time to cycle through.
This was set in motion in December, but the $245 million isn’t the only fine that has been imposed. A separate part of the settlement with the FTC resulted in an additional $275 million payment over “allegations that the company violated the rules of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”
If any of these apply to you, the FTC has set up a dedicated website to work on getting your refund owed.
This is nothing but bad publicity for Epic Games, and it’s unknown how this could change how other games with large younger populations (like Roblox) adjust their monetization to avoid clashing with the FTC.
https://twinfinite.net/2023/03/epic-games-forced-to-pay-for-sketchy-fortnite-microtransaction-practices/ Epic games have to pay for patchy Fortnite microtransaction practices