The maker of the popular Fortnite video game will pay $520 million in penalties and refunds to settle complaints revolving around children’s privacy and its payment methods.
On top of “tricking” players into unintentionally making in-game purchases, Epic Games was accused of collecting personal information on underage Fortnite players in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
“Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button,” the FTC said. “These tactics led to hundreds of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges for consumers.”
Epic Games will pay a $275 million settlement for violating COPPA and an additional $245 million in customer refunds. This is the biggest penalty ever imposed for breaking an Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule.
Epic Games says it has already changed their practices “to ensure our ecosystem meets the expectations of our players and regulators, which we hope will be a helpful guide for others in our industry.”
The company said it agreed to the FTC settlement because it wanted “to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players,” adding that “No developer creates a game with the intention of ending up here.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER
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