Fortnite Refund Alert: $520 Million Settlement for In-Game Purchases

Parents of Fortnite players may receive refunds after a $520 million settlement with Epic Games. The FTC addressed child privacy and deceptive payments, with a claim deadline of January 17.

In a recent development, parents whose children unknowingly made virtual purchases within the popular Fortnite video game may soon have the opportunity to seek refunds. U.S. regulatory authorities have initiated the process of informing over 37 million individuals via email about their potential eligibility for compensation under a legal settlement involving Epic Games Inc., the creator of Fortnite.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosed late last year that Epic Games would be liable for $520 million in penalties and reimbursements to address complaints related to child privacy issues and deceptive payment practices within the game. This substantial settlement, finalized in March, includes $245 million allocated for customer refunds. These refunds are intended to cover expenses incurred due to unwanted in-game currency known as V-Bucks and virtual items like costumes and whimsical purple llama loot crates.

Consumers have until January 17th to file their claims for reimbursement. As part of the settlement, Epic Games also agreed to pay a $275 million fine for purportedly collecting personal data from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without parental consent or notification. This fine marks the most substantial penalty ever imposed for violating FTC regulations.

Eligible individuals for refunds encompass Fortnite users who were charged in-game currency for undesired items between January 2017 and September 2022, those whose children made unauthorized credit card charges between January 2017 and November 2018, and individuals whose accounts were locked following complaints to their credit card companies regarding wrongful charges.

Epic Games has emphasized its commitment to preventing unintended purchases and protecting player privacy, stating that it has implemented additional safeguards since resolving the case in December. In an updated statement released on Tuesday, the company directed affected parties to the FTC's official webpage for further information on the settlement.

This significant development serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and consumer protection in the rapidly evolving landscape of online gaming, particularly concerning young players and their financial interactions within virtual environments.

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