A big hit for Epic.
Epic Games has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it announced today. The company is due to pay $245 million to the FTC to “resolve concerns related to past designs of the Fortnite item shop and refund systems in Fortnite.” On top of that, Epic needs to pay an additional $275 million to “resolve concerns related to childrens privacy” in the same game.
The company accepted this settlement with the goal for it to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for [its] players, according to an official post on the Epic website. The first and main reason why Epic is being scrutinized is because the company saved payment information by default, leading up to unwanted expenses on players Fortnite accounts. From now on, players can choose whether to store this information or not.
Aside from that, Fortnites refund system has been flawed and Epic has now updated payment flows with a hold-to-purchase mechanic that re-confirms a players intent to buy as an additional safeguard to prevent unintended purchases alongside instant purchase cancellations and self-service refunds.
When it comes to childrens privacy, Epic is now taking all measures to create a safe environment up to the standards of the U.S. Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This means that children below the age of 13 will now be able to play Fortnite in a specifically designed environment while they wait for parental approval. In this environment, for example, chat and purchase features will be disabled.
Since this is a huge hit for Epic, the company emphasized that it values Fortnite players above all and that these events were never its intent. Whats more, it promised to be more upfront about all purchases and refunds, and Epic will look to improve Fortnites ecosystem for players of all ages.