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Fortnite Players To Receive Refunds in Settlement with Epic Games

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that over 37 million people may be eligible for compensation in a legal settlement with Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite. The settlement relates to complaints about children's privacy and the game's payment methods that tricked players into making unintended purchases. As part of the settlement, Epic Games agreed to pay $520 million in penalties and refunds.

One of the key components of the settlement is $245 million set aside for customer refunds. This amount aims to cover costs incurred by players for unwanted in-game currency, called V-Bucks, as well as virtual items such as outfits and loot crates. Consumers have until January 17 to submit a claim for a refund.

In addition to the refunds, Epic Games will pay a $275 million fine for allegedly collecting personal information on Fortnite players under the age of 13 without notifying their parents or obtaining their consent. This hefty penalty is the largest ever imposed for violating an FTC rule.

The eligibility criteria for refunds include Fortnite users who were charged in-game currency for items they did not want between January 2017 and September 2022. Parents whose children made charges to their credit card without their knowledge between January 2017 and November 2018 are also eligible. Furthermore, individuals whose accounts were locked after complaining to their credit card company about wrongful charges can also submit a claim.

Following the settlement, Epic Games implemented additional safeguards to prevent unintended purchases. They have referred affected individuals to the FTC's page for further information.

This settlement marks an important step by the FTC in addressing concerns about children's privacy and the deceptive payment practices within the realm of online gaming. It highlights the need for companies to prioritize proper consent and transparency when dealing with young users.

Definitions:
– V-Bucks: The in-game currency used in Fortnite.
– Loot crates: Virtual containers or crates that can be purchased in the game to reveal random virtual items or rewards.

Sources:
– Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
– Epic Games Inc.