The FTC Fortnite settlement will have Epic Games pay $245 million in the form of refunds to players. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Fortnite's developers had charged players and parents for unwanted cosmetic items.
To make matters worse, Epic Games banned some players who disputed wrongful charges with their credit card companies. Due to this, it's not surprising that the FTC investigated the company and fined it hundreds of millions of dollars.
This article will reveal everything you need to know about the FTC Fortnite settlement. We'll take a closer look at the fines that Epic Games received from the FTC, players' eligibility for a refund and also check how much money players will receive.
This article reflects the personal views of the author.
Players will benefit from the FTC Fortnite settlement, but is it fair?
The Federal Trade Commission ruled that Epic Games has to pay $520 million in fines and refunds due to shady practices in Fortnite. This record-breaking settlement is the largest FTC refund within the video gaming industry.
Epic Games was fined $275 million by the FTC, while $245 million will be split amongst all eligible players. Here are all the requirements to be eligible for the refund:
- Parents whose children made an unauthorized credit card purchase in the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018
- Fortnite players who were charged in-game currency (V-Bucks) for unwanted in-game items (such as cosmetics, llamas, or Battle Passes) between January 2017 and September 2022
- Fortnite players whose accounts were locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after disputing unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.
Although Epic Games has made several Item Shop improvements over the past few years, they weren't enough to prevent such a hefty fine.
While it's currently unknown as to how many Fortnite players are eligible for the refund, it's fairly likely that this number is over 100 million players. If that's the case, it means that players will receive less than $2.50 on average.
Considering that many players have accidentally spent thousands of V-Bucks, the FTC Fortnite settlement is far from fair. However, there's a chance that Epic Games will also refund V-Bucks to eligible players, which would make the situation slightly better.
Did Epic Games deceive players?
With the release of the v21.51 update, Epic Games has released a significant change to Fortnite's Item Shop. After this change, players now have to hold down the 'Purchase' button instead of simply tapping it once, a new system that's very likely to prevent accidental purchases.
In addition, players are able to get a full refund for unused items 24 hours after purchasing them. This means that even if someone accidentally buys a cosmetic item, it's possible to get a full refund without contacting Epic Games.
Unfortunately, Epic could have released all of these quality-of-life changes a long time ago. With Epic Games potentially making millions of dollars from previous versions of the Item Shop, this could explain why all of these changes came shortly after the FTC Fortnite settlement.
While Epic Games may not have deceived players on purpose, the truth is that the company did not do enough to prevent accidental purchases.