Millions of Fortnite players can now collect a small portion of the $245 million settlement agreed to by the game’s parent business with the US Federal Trade Commission.

Epic Games settled with the FTC in December on allegations that it used misleading tactics to entice users to make unnecessary purchases in the multiplayer shooter game that became enormously popular with younger generations a few years ago. The FTC announced on Tuesday that it has begun the claims process for the more than 37 million possibly affected users who may be eligible for compensation.

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Epic Games agreed to pay $520 million to resolve US government charges that it tricked millions of gamers, including children and teens, into making unplanned purchases and violated a landmark federal children’s privacy legislation in December.

In one settlement, Epic agreed to pay the US government $275 million to settle charges that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 without first obtaining their parents’ consent. In a separate settlement, Epic agreed to pay $245 million in refunds to consumers who were allegedly damaged by false user-interface design choices, according to the FTC.

According to the FTC, the Fortnite creator “used dark patterns and other deceptive practices to trick players into making unwanted purchases” and “made it easy for children to rack up charges without parental consent.”

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(“Dark patterns” allude to the gently coercive design strategies employed by a plethora of websites and apps, which critics claim are meant to control people’s digital behaviour.)

The FTC is currently alerting users who may be entitled for a portion of the $245 million settlement fund. Affected consumers may get an email from the FTC with a claim number in the coming month, or they can go directly to the settlement site and register a claim using their Epic account ID.

Users who were charged in-game currency for items they did not want between January 2017 and September 2022, parents whose children made Fortnite charges to their credit cards between January 2017 and November 2018, and users whose accounts were locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after they complained to their credit card company about wrongful charges are all eligible to apply. Claimants must be at least 18 years old; younger users can have their parents file a claim on their behalf.

Users have until January 17, 2024, to file a claim in order to be part of the settlement class. The amount of the individual settlement amounts is not yet known.

Epic’s agreement with the FTC also bars the corporation from utilizing dark patterns or charging consumers without their authorization, as well as locking gamers out of their accounts in response to refund requests from credit card companies disputing undesired transactions.

When Epic struck the arrangement in December, it stated in a blog post that “no developer creates a game with the intention of ending up here.” “We accepted this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players,” the company continued.


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