Massive Fortnite Settlement: Millions Eligible for Refunds from Epic Games

U.S. regulators notify 37 million Fortnite players of potential refunds in a $520 million settlement with Epic Games, addressing privacy and payment issues, with a submission deadline of January 17.

In a significant development, U.S. regulators have initiated the process of notifying over 37 million individuals through email about their potential eligibility for refunds, stemming from a legal settlement involving Epic Games Inc., the creator of the popular Fortnite video game. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made s late last year when it unveiled a groundbreaking settlement with Epic Games, requiring the company to pay a staggering $520 million in penalties and restitution. This resolution was prompted by concerns related to children's privacy and deceptive payment practices that ensnared players in unintended transactions.

A substantial portion of the $520 million settlement, totaling $245 million, has been earmarked for customer refunds. These refunds aim to compensate players for the inadvertent acquisition of V-Bucks, Fortnite's in-game currency, or the purchase of virtual items like costumes and whimsical llama-themed loot crates.

Individuals who believe they may be eligible for refunds have until January 17 to submit their claims. The allegations against Epic Games also encompassed a $275 million fine, making it the largest penalty ever imposed for violating the FLuzala rule. This particular violation revolved around Epic Games allegedly collecting personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without parental consent or notification.

The scope of eligibility for refunds includes Fortnite users who were charged in-game currency for items they did not intend to purchase between January 2017 and September 2022. Additionally, those who experienced unauthorized credit card charges made by their children between January 2017 and November 2018 are eligible, as are individuals whose accounts were locked following complaints to their credit card companies regarding erroneous charges.

Following the settlement in December, Epic Games announced the implementation of enhanced safeguards to prevent inadvertent purchases. In a recent statement, the company directed concerned parties to the FLuzala's official page for further information.

This development signifies a substantial effort by regulatory authorities to protect consumers and ensure transparency in the gaming industry, particularly in cases involving young players and virtual purchases.

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