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Fortnite to refund a total of $245 million after FTC ruling, check if you're eligible

Fortnite Cuddle Team Leader with V-Bucks
Eligible players to be refunded after FTC's ruling for $245 million fine on Fortnite . (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Epic Games vs The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) drama has come to a conclusion as the Fortnite developer has been asked to refund a total of $245 million to its player base, out of the total $520 million fine, with immediate effect.

Last year, Epic came under fire for allegedly attracting its player base in 2017 to purchase their in-game currencies called V-Bucks and cosmetic items using "dark patterns."

The FTC also highlighted that Epic employed misleading user interfaces that made it simple to spend money unknowingly. They also mentioned that some players experienced monetary losses even during loading screens and the game's first boot-up.

Now that the developers have agreed to make refunds for Fortnite players, here's how you can check if you're eligible for a refund.


Eligible Fortnite players can fill a form on the FTC site for a refund

FTC finalizes order requiring Fortnite maker Epic Games to pay $245 million for tricking users into making unwanted charges. FTC will use the money to provide refunds to consumers: bit.ly/3mTJxRX

The FTC's decision follows an announcement in December 2018 regarding complaints from parents whose children used their credit cards to make inadvertent transactions in the game.

After conducting an extensive study, it became clear that Epic employed tempting techniques to encourage its player base, primarily consisting of children aged 10 to 16, to make a purchase in the game without parents' permission.

They also detailed the process through which users' Fortnite accounts were restricted when they reported illicit transactions to their credit card company; however, several criteria must be met before a player may submit a refund request.

Players and users can apply for FTC refunds in one of three broad categories:

1) People whose children used their credit cards to buy games from the Epic Games Store without permission between January 2017 and November 2018.

2) Players who were charged V-Bucks (the game's virtual currency) for undesired in-game products (such as cosmetics, llamas, or battle passes) between January 2017 and September 2022.

3) Players who disputed fraudulent transactions on their credit cards and had their Fortnite accounts suspended between January 2017 and September 2022 as a result.

Federal Trade Commission Finalizes Order Requiring Fortnite maker Epic Games to Pay $245 Million for Tricking Users into Making Unwanted ChargesFTC will use the money to provide refunds to consumers> ftc.gov/system/files/fโ€ฆ https://t.co/5UjWFSscC0

However, players will need to complete a form that will be made available to verify their eligibility on the FTC site before submitting an application for a refund. Any in-game purchases made by a player between the aforementioned times may be viewed in their order history on their Epic Games account.

If you're an eligible player, go to www.FTC.gov/Fortnite to see if you qualify for a refund and learn what to do next. Eligible players will be notified through email, as is now emphasized on the site, and the form will soon be accessible via the same URL.

The following is what the FTC said in its official news statement on the matter:

Fortnite's counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button. The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent. The order also prohibits Epic from charging consumers through the use of dark patterns or from otherwise charging consumers without obtaining their affirmative consent. Additionally, the order bars Epic from blocking consumers from accessing their accounts for disputing unauthorised charges.

They also cautioned gamers against falling into scams when seeking refunds, noting that the FTC never requires players to pay to make a claim or obtain a refund. Before the release of the form, users are encouraged to compile and organize any relevant transaction data from their Epic Games account, if any.

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Edited by Anirudh Padmanabhan
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