Back in December, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hit Fortnite maker Epic Games with the “largest penalty ever” for violations against children over privacy issues and tricking them into purchases. Now $245 million of the total $520 million penalty has been finalized for those who were victims of “dark patterns” that led to unwanted and unknown in-game charges. We’ll also cover how to get a refund if you believe you or your family was impacted by Epic’s practices.
The FTC announced the news about finalizing Epic’s penalty over tricking users into purchases on its website today (via John Gruber/Daring Fireball).
“The Federal Trade Commission has finalized an order requiring Epic Games, the maker of the Fortnite video game, to pay $245 million to consumers to settle charges that the company used dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases and let children rack up unauthorized charges without any parental involvement.”
Along with being able to make purchases without parental involvement, the penalty comes after Epic Games was found to use a “counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration” which “led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button.”
The FTC voted unanimously to finalize the $245 million portion of the record penalty and shared that it will be used to issue refunds to affected users.
As noted by Gruber, Epic is the company that’s fighting to run its own app store on iPhone and iPad – which Apple could be forced to do in the EU due to the Digital Markets Act.
How to file a claim for a Fortnite refund
- Head to the FTC’s ‘Fornite Refunds’ landing page
- Double-check the eligibility requirements
- Check back in the future when the FTC has given steps to get your refund
- The FTC says people who are eligible should receive an email notice
- It also reminds people that “the FTC never asks you to pay to file a claim or get a refund. Don’t pay anyone who promises you an FTC refund in exchange for a fee.”
If you don’t get an email, check back on the FTC’s Fornite Refunds page for all the latest details and how to submit a claim.
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