Fortnite maker Epic Games to pay $520 million to settle FTC lawsuit

Video game company Epic Games will pay fines and refunds totaling $520 million to settle complaints about children’s privacy and how players are tricked into buying, U.S. federal regulators announced Monday. did.

The Federal Trade Commission said it has secured a record-breaking settlement of two lawsuits from Epic Games, makers of the popular game Fortnite.

“Epic used privacy-invading default settings and fake interfaces to trick Fortnite users, including teens and children,” FTC Chairman Lina Khan said in a statement.

The company has refunded $245 million to customers who fell victim to its so-called “dark patterns” and billing practices.

Dark patterns are deceptive online techniques used to trick users into doing things they didn’t intend to do.

In this case, “Fortnite’s counter-intuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration resulted in players being charged unnecessary fees for pressing a single button,” the FTC said.

For example, a player could be charged for pressing a nearby button while trying to wake from sleep mode when the game is on a loading screen, or simply trying to preview an item, it said. I’m here.

“These tactics have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of fraudulent claims being made to consumers,” the FTC said.

Epic Games said it was making the payment to address concerns regarding the “past design of the Fortnite Item Shop and refund system.” The FTC will distribute the money “to Epic customers at their discretion,” the company said.

“The statute written decades ago does not specify how the gaming ecosystem should operate,” the company said. “The law has not changed, but its application has evolved and long-standing industry practice is no longer sufficient.”

In a second case, Epic Games agreed to pay a $275 million fine for collecting personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without informing or obtaining their parents’ consent. .

This is the largest penalty imposed for violating FTC rules. Fortnite maker Epic Games to pay $520 million to settle FTC lawsuit

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