Epic Games, the publisher and developer of Fortnite, has been hit with a record-breaking fine of $245 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly violating the Children's Online Privacy Act (COPPA) in the United States. The FTC has also set up a website where eligible Fortnite players can request a refund, but unfortunately, this offer only applies to American players.
The FTC accuses Epic Games of using “design tricks, known as dark patterns, to induce millions of players to make unwanted purchases.” Additionally, the FTC has called on Epic to implement strict default privacy settings to protect the privacy of children and teenagers, including disabling voice and text communication by default.
The FTC, short for Federal Trade Commission, is a federal agency in the United States responsible for consumer protection. It also ensures that domestic businesses are not threatened by companies that accumulate too much power and influence, such as monopolies. Currently, the agency is playing a crucial role in determining whether Microsoft can acquire Activision/Blizzard.
According to the FTC, three categories of users are eligible for a refund from Epic Games. First, individuals must be U.S. citizens, and they must have purchased in-game currency for items they did not want between January 2017 and September 2022. Second, parents whose children made in-game purchases using their credit card without their knowledge are also eligible. Finally, players whose accounts were blocked due to complaints about unwanted in-game purchases submitted to their bank between January 2017 and September 2022 can also apply.
The amount of money players will receive depends on various factors, including the number of people making the same complaint. However, the FTC has not provided specific dates for reimbursement. All claims, however, must be submitted by January 17, 2024.
Affected players must be over 18 years old or have their parents fill out the form on their behalf. They will also need a valid Epic account ID. If you meet these criteria, you can request a refund for Fortnite by filling out the form on the FTC website.
Despite the massive fine, Epic Games continues to thrive. Fortnite recently celebrated its sixth anniversary, and the new season is already generating a lot of buzz. Rumors about a new open-world mode in Fortnite Season 5 are circulating, but no confirmed information has been released yet.
– Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
– Epic Games