Epic Games has settled Fortnite's legal case with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the official information, Epic will pay users $245 million to resolve concerns related to past designs of the in-game Item Shop and refund systems.
Additionally, another $275 million will be paid to the FTC to resolve concerns related to children's privacy in-game. Although there's no mention of when these legal proceedings will take place, one thing is for sure: a lot of players will be eligible for refunds.
Thousands, if not millions, of Fortnite players, will be eligible for refunds soon
Based on the information provided by the FTC, they plan on using the settlement money to provide refunds to gamers affected by the company's billing and refund practices. Unfortunately, this will only apply to Fortnite players in the U.S.
Since the legal jurisdiction of the FTC is limited to the US, players from other countries will not be eligible for refunds. Not all gamers in the US will be eligible for refunds, either. The FTC mentions specific parameters which must be true to be eligible:
- Parents whose children made an unauthorized credit card purchase in the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018 (this likely applies to everything listed in the EGS)
- Players who were charged in-game currency (V-Bucks) for unwanted in-game items purchased (such as cosmetics, llamas, or battle passes) between January 2017 and September 2022
- Players whose accounts were "locked" between January 2017 and September 2022 after trying to dispute unauthorized charges with their credit card companies
Failing to meet any of these parameters will not guarantee a refund. Players will likely have to showcase a ticket used in-game for any of the reasons above to be eligible.
There's nothing for players to do at the moment. The FTC will update the situation and the refund program in due time. Furthermore, they also mentioned that the refund process is free of cost and that to be wary of any individuals who claim otherwise.
Will Fortnite get V-Bucks or real-world money?
While the FTC doesn't provide any information on the same, in all probability, players will be refunded in United States Dollars. Since V-Bucks are an in-game currency, they will likely not be used to issue refunds.
Furthermore, since most of those filing for refunds will be parents whose credit cards have been misused, being paid in US Dollars is the most likely outcome.
It's unclear whether or not cosmetic items will be removed from the player's inventory once the refund occurs. It's also left to be seen if this refund process will lead to multiple users incurring negative V-Bucks in Fortnite.
The entire process will likely take a few months to initiate. Hopefully, within that timespan, Epic Games and the FTC will provide some insight into the refund criteria and complete details surrounding the same.