Fortnite maker Epic Games has just agreed to pay a record sum of $520 million settlement over allegations that it misled its players, a vast majority of them being kids, into making unintended purchases.
The agreement was split into two amounts. The first is a $275 million settlement paid to the US government to resolve claims that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
This is the largest penalty ever obtained for violating a Federal Trade Commission rule. The second amount is $245 million, and it goes to cover funds for customers who were harmed by its ‘dark patterns and billing practices’.
The FTC says the figure is the largest refund amount ever in a gaming case. “Protecting the public, and especially children, from online privacy invasions and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices” said TC chair Lina M. Khan.
Fortnite is a free to download game, but players can, and incentivised, to buy in-game items which vary from skins to even dance moves.