Fortnite “confused” players into making in-game purchases, so the US fined him $245 million

Epic Games was fined as part of a settlement that has now been finalized that includes $245 million for misleading users into making unwanted purchases with the help of button configuration.”inconsistent” and “counterintuitive“, according to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.

To the fine is added another 275 million dollars that are part of the agreement, but whose accusation corresponds to having violated the privacy of girls and boys in Fortnite by collecting their data without parental consent. The fine It is one of the highest in US history when it comes to applications and digital companies..

Previously Fortnite allowed the purchase of cosmetics using a single button in the process. Everything seems to indicate that Epic knew about the high rate of unintentional purchases, but did not completely fix the problem for fear of a significant drop in revenue. The Federal Trade Commission also criticized that the game has not built controls to prevent girls and boys from making purchases without the need for parental supervision; instead, the game stored for default the data of a card which facilitated unauthorized purchases by parents.

“Dark Patterns”

The Federal Trade Commission concluded that Fortnite used “dark patterns“, which means that the button layout is flawed and can lead to players making accidental purchases. The complaint is accompanied by reports from users who say they have been banned after making claims for cancellations of purchased digital items.

There will be players who will be compensated. The compensation will apply in the United States for those who were charged for unwanted items between January 2017 and September 2022 and who had their accounts closed after initiating disputes over accidentally purchased items.

Epic did not allow the cancellation of cosmetic purchases until June 2019. The commission says that even after that, Epic continued to use “dark patterns” to get players to make accidental purchases.

After the fine of last December for a total amount of 275 million dollars was made known, Epic announced that it accepted the agreement offered to be “at the forefront of consumer protectionThe company also said that the applicable statutes were written decades ago and do not specify how video game ecosystems should work.

It is not clear what will happen to some of the mechanics that were denounced and that are still in force in the game. For example, Fortnite still uses the three-player system. tokens that allows users to return purchased material for the same number of occasions. The problem with the system is that if the user has finished his tokens (which only renew one year after being used), then you cannot cancel purchases made.

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