Yet Epic Games in the eye of the storm, or it would be better to say of the Storm since we are talking about Fortnite. After being at the center of a controversial action class in Canada (we told you about it here), now Fortnite is accused of invasion of privacy by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Epic Games’ hugely popular battle royale game allegedly used misleading gameplay features that would cause players, mainly children, to make in-game purchases. Beyond that the charge is that Epic Games has not respected the privacy of younger players. Current regulation requires Epic to adopt robust default privacy settings for children and teenagers, such as voice and text communications, which must be turned off by default.
Fortnite: fine for violation of privacy
In addition to a $275 million fine, the FTC has now imposed on Epic Games compensation to the players equal to 245 million dollars, the largest gaming redemption amount in FTC history. In an official statement (via ABC), Epic accepted the payment:
“The video game industry is constantly evolving, gamer expectations are high and new ideas are essential. The regulations written decades ago are outdated and do not specify how gaming ecosystems should function. The laws have not changed, but their application has evolved and the established practices of the sector are no longer sufficient”.
In short Epic Games has agreed to pay, but points out that the current regulations risk appearing anachronistic compared to the current market for free-to-play games.
Meanwhile Fortnite is in the midst of Midwinter celebrations, which allows players to claim free skins and items ahead of Christmas. The game also introduced a new emote dedicated to the Metallica and celebrate the first 15 days of Chapter 4 Season 1 today.