$245 Million Fortnite Settlement Means Money Coming to Your Texas Mailbox
If you have kids, you probably know about the video game Fortnite. You probably hear overly long stories about their latest play session at dinner. You probably get a lot of requests to purchase V-Bucks so they can buy the latest character skin or character accessory. Sometimes, you probably noticed an unexpected charge to your credit or debit card involving the in-game currency called V-Bucks. Epic Games, who made and runs Fortnite, was very sneaky in how they got your money and has reached a big settlement that could bring some, but not all, of your money back to your wallet.
Fortnite and Their Deceptive Policies
Fortnite has been a popular video game for several years now. At one time, I was a daily player. I wasn't any good but I would still play. The game is free to download and play but the catch is all the stuff you can buy in the game. Stuff like special characters, different dances for your character to do, weapons, skins, gliders and all other kinds of stuff. The makers of Fortnite, Epic Games, was a little deceptive and very sneaky when it came to these micro transactions as they're called. The result of that was parents being charged for those purchases without any knowledge of it. They even collected personal data on the kids who played without the parents consent.
The Federal Trade Commission has begun notifying people who may be entitled to compensation stemming from a settlement finalized in March 2023 with Epic Games over allegations that the Fortnite video game maker used dark patterns and other deceptive practices to trick players into making unwanted purchases. - Federal Trade Commission
Epic Games will have to pay a total of $520 million in combined penalties and refunds. The gaming company will pay a $275 million fine for collecting the personal information of Fortnite players under the age of 13 with the consent of the parent or even notifying the parents of the information collecting. $245 million will go toward customer refunds for the in-game currency V-Bucks that are used to purchase the various items in the game.
How to Submit a Claim and the Qualifications
You can submit a claim at ftc.gov. You may have also received an email in regards to this settlement. To qualify for a refund, you must meet three requirements:
- You were charged in-game currency for items you didn’t want between January 2017 and September 2022
- Your child made charges to your credit card without your knowledge between January 2017 and November 2018
- Your account was locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after you complained to your credit card company about wrongful charges
You have until January 17, 2024 to file your claim. As we know with any of these settlements, the amount of money you receive depends on several different factors so you may not get back all the money that you lost.