Fortnite developer ordered to pay $245 million to players tricked into making "unwanted" purchases

Peely from Fortnite with Xs for eyes
(Image credit: Epic Games)

Epic Games has been ordered to pay $245 million to Fortnite players after using "dark patterns" to trick them into making unintentional purchases and letting children do so without involvement from a parent. 

That comes from the United States Federal Trade Commission, which announced the penalty sum has been finalised following the complaint's initial announcement last December. 

The FTC accused Epic of using design tricks to lull players of all ages into making unintended in-game purchases. 

"Fortnite's counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button," an FTC press release reads. "The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent."

The FTC also alleged that Epic locked the accounts of people who disputed the unauthorised charges with their credit card companies.

Now, the FTC has revealed Epic must pay $245 million to put that all right, which will be used to refund players affected.

"The order also prohibits Epic from charging consumers through the use of dark patterns or from otherwise charging consumers without obtaining their affirmative consent," the press release continues. "Additionally, the order bars Epic from blocking consumers from accessing their accounts for disputing unauthorised charges."

Elsewhere, Google and Nvidia have reportedly expressed "concern" to FTC over Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition, which continues to rumble on.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.