FTC Finalizes $245M Fine Against Epic Games to Refund Fortnite Players
This penalty is a significant victory for the FTC in its battle against “dark patterns,” which are designs that manipulate users into making decisions that they may not otherwise make. In recent years, “dark patterns” have become more prevalent, particularly in mobile games and e-commerce websites. By imposing a large fine against Epic Games, the FTC is sending a clear message to other companies that deceptive business practices will not be tolerated.
The FTC’s investigation of Epic Games began in 2018 after numerous complaints from Fortnite players who claimed they were being misled into making purchases without their knowledge or consent. According to the FTC, Epic Games ignored warnings from Apple and Google about the deceptive nature of their in-game purchase practices. As a result, the FTC found that Epic Games had violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices.
The $245 million fine against Epic Games is one of the largest penalties ever imposed by the FTC. The company will be required to pay this fine in addition to implementing a comprehensive program to prevent similar violations in the future. The program will include improved parental controls, clear disclosure of in-game purchases, and training for customer service representatives to assist players who have been wrongly charged.