Fortnite was sued by the FTC last year and was handed two substantial fines, which amounted to $520 million. One of the two fines was supposed to be for refunding players who the FTC believes had fallen prey to what was predominantly deemed Epic's "dark practices."
These refunds have yet to be issued, though the FTC has clarified who qualifies for them. If you are liable for remuneration, here's what you must do.
Information regarding Fortnite FTC refund
These are the types of players who can receive their refund money, according to the FTC's official statement:
- A parent whose child made an unauthorized purchase on the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018.
- A player who was charged V-Bucks for in-game items they didn’t want to get between January 2017 and September 2022.
- A Fortnite player whose account was locked after disputing unauthorized charges from January 2017 to September 2022.
If you fall into one of those categories, you are eligible for a refund. For now, there's nothing anyone needs to do. The FTC is still working things out for the refunds and developing a system.
Until then, you don't need to do anything. They will post updates regarding who needs to do what when the time comes.
Back in December, the FTC dropped the bombshell that they were suing Epic Games over Fortnite:
"The Federal Trade Commission has secured agreements requiring Epic Games, Inc., creator of the popular video game Fortnite, to pay a total of $520 million in relief over allegations the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and deployed design tricks, known as dark patterns, to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases."
They alleged that Epic was preying on unassuming players and goading them into making purchases they didn't want or need to make. Epic has always maintained that Fortnite is free, and no payment makes the game easier. However, the company did make it seem like spending money was the way to go.
Epic didn't bother fighting this report. The developer didn't refute the claims or try to fight the fines it was charged, which totaled over $500 million. Immediately promising to make changes and incorporate preventive measures for the future, Epic appeared to have immediately accepted its fate.
In fact, the company released a statement right after the report came out:
"No developer creates a game with the intention of ending up here. The video game industry is a place of fast-moving innovation, where player expectations are high and new ideas are paramount. Statutes written decades ago don’t specify how gaming ecosystems should operate. The laws have not changed, but their application has evolved and long-standing industry practices are no longer enough."
It's been a while, but the saga is not quite over.