The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has finalized its recent order and will require Epic Games, the company that makes the popular Fortnite video game, to pay $425 million to consumers.
Back in December, the FTC and Epic games reached an agreement to settle charges that the company employed dark patterns to trick users to make unwanted purchases. The FTC also charged that the company allowed children to run up large bills without their parent’s approval.
The company agreed to pay the FTC $520 million, with $425 million going to reimburse consumers.
“Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button,” the agency charged. “The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent.”
When players complained or tried to dispute the charges, the FTC charged Epic locked them out of their accounts.
What to do
If you or your children played Fortnite and ended up buying things you didn’t want, you’re probably due a refund. The FTC is in the process of setting up its compensation system.
For starters, refunds will be made to:
Parents whose children made an unauthorized credit card purchase in the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018
Fortnite players who were charged in-game currency (V-Bucks) for unwanted in-game items (such as cosmetics, llamas, or battle passes) between January 2017 and September 2022
Fortnite players whose accounts were locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after disputing unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.
The FTC said it will send emails to consumers who made in-game purchases when it has developed instructions for applying for a refund. However, if you think you are eligible you should bookmark www.FTC.gov/Fortnite and check it from time to time.
It costs nothing to apply for a refund, so if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the FTC and requesting payment, the FTC said you are dealing with a scammer.