Fortnite, the popular online video game, faced a legal battle regarding its in-game purchasing process. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, of misleading players into making unwanted purchases. In response to these accusations, Epic Games agreed to settle for $245 million with the FTC. As a result, individuals who were affected may be eligible for a refund under this settlement.
The FTC claimed that Fortnite's button configuration was counterintuitive and confusing, leading players to unintentionally incur charges. This particularly affected children, who were able to make purchases without parental consent. Additionally, the FTC alleged that Epic Games locked individuals out of their Fortnite accounts if they disputed the charges with their credit card companies.
Alongside the settlement payment, Epic Games was required to implement changes to their in-game purchasing process. These changes aimed at reducing accidental purchases and preventing account lockouts for disputing charges. The company expressed its commitment to consumer protection and enhancing the gaming experience in a released statement.
To determine eligibility for a refund, individuals must fall into specific categories. These include being charged for in-game currency or items that were unwanted between January 2017 and September 2022. Parents or guardians are also eligible if their child made charges to their credit card without their knowledge between January 2017 and November 2018. Finally, individuals whose accounts were locked after disputing charges with their credit card company between January 2017 and September 2022 may also submit a claim.
To file a claim, visit the FTC's claim website and provide the claim number received via email from the FTC, as well as the Epic Account ID. It is important to note that the filing deadline is January 17, 2024. Refunds can be received via check or PayPal payment, but the exact amount is uncertain as it will depend on the number of eligible claims submitted.
The FTC anticipates distributing payments in 2024 once all claim forms have been assessed. Fortunately, submitting a claim will not impact one's Fortnite account, and any purchased items will remain intact.
– US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
– Epic Games