The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that approximately 37 million Fortnite players will have the opportunity to claim their portion of a $245 million legal settlement with Epic Games Inc., the maker of Fortnite. The settlement was finalized in March following allegations that the video game maker utilized deceptive practices to deceive players into making unwanted purchases.
Under the settlement, Epic Games will pay $520 million in penalties and refunds to address complaints related to children's privacy and payment methods. $245 million of this amount is designated for customer refunds, covering costs associated with unwanted in-game currency (V-Bucks) and virtual items such as outfits and loot crates.
Additionally, Epic Games will pay a $275 million fine for allegedly collecting personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without parental knowledge or consent. This penalty is the largest ever imposed for violating an FTC rule.
To be eligible for refunds, users must have been charged for unwanted in-game purchases between January 2017 and September 2022. Parents whose children made unauthorized charges to their credit cards between January 2017 and November 2018 are also eligible. Furthermore, individuals whose accounts were locked following complaints to their credit card companies regarding wrongful charges are included.
Epic Games has already implemented additional safeguards to prevent unintended purchases and has directed individuals to the FTC's page for more information. Fortnite, which has over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections, is one of the world's largest games.
The claim process will remain open until January 17, 2024, allowing affected users sufficient time to submit their claims and potentially receive their refunds.
Sources: The FTC, Epic Games Inc.