The publisher of Fortnite, Epic Games, finalized a $245 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission earlier this year. This settlement comes after the company was accused of tricking players into making unwanted in-game purchases. If you or your child accidentally purchased items in the vastly popular battle royale game, you may be eligible for a refund under the settlement.
In a statement in March, the FTC said that Fortnite’s “counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button.” The agency also said it was too easy for children to make purchases in the game without parental consent, and that Epic Games locked those who challenged purchases with their credit card companies out of their Fortnite accounts.
Along with the $245 million settlement payment, the FTC mandated that Epic Games make changes to its in-game purchasing process. This included making it harder for customers to make accidental purchases and not locking customers who dispute charges out of their accounts.
Epic Games said in a statement in December that “the laws have not changed, but their application has evolved and long-standing industry practices are no longer enough.” The company said it “accepted this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players.”
Read on to find out if you’re eligible to submit a claim and when you could receive your money. For more on gaming, check out the best handheld video game consoles of 2023 and the best game subscription services.
Who is eligible to submit a claim?
You’re eligible to submit a claim if you were charged for in-game currency for items that you did not want to purchase between January 2017 and September 2022, if your child made charges to your credit card without your knowledge between January 2017 and November 2018, or if your account was locked after you disputed charges with your credit card company between January 2017 and September 2022.
It’s important to note that you must be 18 years or older to submit a claim. If you fall into one of these categories, and you’re under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will need to submit a claim on your behalf.
How much will I receive from my claim?
You will be able to indicate whether you want your refund via check or Paypal payment. While the FTC doesn’t offer any official guidance on how much you might receive if your claim is approved, it’s safe to assume that your final payment likely will depend upon how many people submit eligible claims.
How do I file a claim? When should I file by?
You can file a claim online at the FTC’s claim website. You will need the claim number that was provided to you in an email from the FTC and your Epic Account ID.
If you wish to receive a refund, you will need to submit your claim by Jan. 17, 2024.
When will I get my money?
The FTC said that it will begin distributing payments in 2024, after it’s assessed all claim forms.
Will submitting a claim affect my Fortnite account?
No, according to the FTC, your Fortnite account is totally safe and you won’t lose any items that you’ve bought on that account.