Why Epic Games (Fortnite) was fined half a billion dollars

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A real video game phenomenon for a few years now, Fortnite continues to be among the most popular games, thanks to very regular updates. Very recently, the game signed Epic Games launched its Chapter 4, taking care in passing to migrate to the Unreal Engine 5 side, for revisited graphics. However, as popular as it is, Fortnite was also in the sights of the United States Consumer Protection Agency (FTC), which accused its creators (Epic Games) of not having been able to sufficiently protect young players, who constitute the real fortnite target heart.

An agreement reached between Epic Games and the FTC

Today, Epic Games announces that it has reached an agreement with the FTC, which forces the American firm to pay no less than 520 million dollars. The charges brought by the United States Consumer Protection Agency related to two major elements, namely the collection of data relating to underage players, but also to the various purchases made in the game, still not these same players under the age of 18. , some of whom were not necessarily aware of making a genuine payment.

Also, Epic Games will owe $275 million for data collection, and $245 million for in-app purchases. This sum will be redistributed in the form of various refunds, to players who have been “victims” Fortnite in-app purchase options. In this regard, the FTC also points to a simplified purchase system, compared to a reimbursement system that has been very confusing so far.

A constant evolution since 2017 for Fortnite

In its press release, Epic Games would also like to remind that the company has constantly evolved the features, rules of use and payment mechanisms since the launch of Fortnite in 2017. “There has never been a pay-to-win or pay-to-progress mechanic in Fortnite’s player versus player experiences. And we eliminated paid random item loot boxes starting in 2019”explains the American group.

In recent years, Epic Games has made many changes to Fortnite, so that this ecosystem meets both the expectations of players of course, but also of the various regulators, who obviously keep a close eye on the activities. of Fortnite. Recently, Fortnite allowed players to participate in a special event, with a reward of one million dollars.

In addition to the in-app purchase system, Fortnite was also criticized for activating the communication interface by default (both written and oral), which can allow malicious adults to easily get in contact with minors. Since then, Epic Games has implemented various parental options, allowing the youngest players to be protected as much as possible.

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