Epic must pay $245M after luring customers into 'Fortnite' purchases

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2023
The Federal Trade Commission has finalized its order to fine Epic Games $245 million over so-called "dark patterns" in "Fortnite," which led players into making unwanted purchases in the game.

Epic Games' marketing for its App Store lawsuit
Epic Games' marketing for its App Store lawsuit


Originally announced as part of a wider $520 million settlement in December, the FTC has made its order for a payment of $245 million from Epic, that will be made to recompense players of the highly popular game.

Under the complaint, the FTC declared that Epic used "dark patterns" in the design of the game's menu system and interface to make it easy for players to make unintended purchases of in-game items. This included button layouts deemed counterintuitive and inconsistent by the FTC, laid out in ways that a player could easily make a wrong button press and initiate the payment.

It was also alleged that Epic made it easy for children to make the purchases without requiring parental consent. Without any purchase authorization, children were able to quickly rack up huge sales, all without checking in with parents beforehand.

Epic was also accused of locking, or threatening to lock, accounts of customers who proceeded to dispute unauthorized charges with credit card companies after the purchase.

The Commission voted 4-0 to approve the complaint and order against Epic, including the $245 million fine. The order also prevents Epic from charging consumers using dark patterns or without getting affirmative consent, and stops Epic from blocking accounts after unauthorized charge disputes.

The $245 million will be distributed by the FTC to a small list of affected consumer types in the United States. At the time of publication, the FTC has yet to determine how it will be operating the refunds process, but urges consumers to check a dedicated page for updates on the FTC website.

The FTC order is the latest legal activity Epic Games is involved in relating to its blockbuster game. Its major lawsuit against Apple over App Store rules is still passing through a lengthy appeals process.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Almost like stealing candy from a baby. Almost. 
    watto_cobraJaiOh81ravnorodomkillroyradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 2 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,840member
    Somehow this has to be Apple's fault in their eyes....
    baconstangiloveapplegearwilliamlondonwatto_cobraJaiOh81Bart YravnorodomCluntBaby92killroylkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,986member
    Another reason not to do business with that company.
    chasmwatto_cobraJaiOh81Bart YCluntBaby92killroyradarthekatAnilu_777jony0
  • Reply 4 of 19
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 247member
    That's epic!
    chasmwatto_cobraJaiOh81CluntBaby92killroyDAalsethradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 5 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Imagine what they’ll do when they can sideload their crap onto iPhones without Apple’s approval.
    watto_cobraJaiOh81mattinozFidonet127Bart YravnorodommacxpresskillroyAppleZuluradarthekat
  • Reply 6 of 19
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,268member
    Imagine how much more they would have if they didn't have Apple standing in the way with confirmation-based IAP and making available refunds for legitimate accidental purchases. (It's a lot more than a 30% cut.)
    genovellewatto_cobraJaiOh81ravnorodommacxpresskillroyradarthekatAnilu_777jony0
  • Reply 7 of 19
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    And here’s the real reason why they wanted to bypass the App Store and IAP. 1984 my ass
    edited March 2023 watto_cobraJaiOh81phaseangleBart YravnorodomCluntBaby92macxpressMadbumkillroyradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 19
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,481member
    Keep in mind that the majority of their customers are outside the Apple ecosystem. The reason they are fighting to bypass Apple goes much further than 15 or 30 percent commissions. Apple rules forbid this type of activity and since they control the refund process they Epicq likely couldn’t perform business as usual. These actions likely double or triple their revenue. So, it was never about 30 percent, but stealing 300 percent more. 

    Side loading and alternative payments is a terrible idea and here’s the reason. 
    edited March 2023 badmonkwatto_cobraJaiOh81Fidonet127Bart YravnorodomCluntBaby92macxpresswilliamlondonkillroy
  • Reply 9 of 19
    And this is why I will never support this company. Eat s*** Epic!
    williamlondonkillroyradarthekatAnilu_777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,840member
    I wonder if Apple can use this ruling to their advantage in these court cases to allow other stores on iOS? I think it would be great to use this as a classic example of why they designed the store model the way they did. 
    MadbumwilliamlondonkillroydanoxradarthekatAnilu_777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 19
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 536member
    Chinese communist owned EPIC Games, lol

    But Biden Justice department s still supporting them in anti trust suit vs Apple?

    somebody on the Chinese communist payroll?


    edited March 2023 williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 19
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,047member
    macxpress said:
    I wonder if Apple can use this ruling to their advantage in these court cases to allow other stores on iOS? I think it would be great to use this as a classic example of why they designed the store model the way they did. 
    I would think Apple’s lawyers and lobbyists will both be working on this message. 

    Once again, iPhone users choose the closed system because Apple creates a defense against these kinds of practices. If Epic wants access to the potentially lucrative Apple users, they should have to adhere to the higher standards established on behalf of those customers. The real consumer choice happens when a customer chooses the more secure device. 
    danoxMacProradarthekatAnilu_777macxpresswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Every Epic loss puts a smile on my face. Crybaby CEO Sweeny Todd is a pirate of the first order. 

    I wish Apple could buy their extaordinary game engine and be the player they should be given the power of their M & A series chips! I personally am not a gamer, but have such admiration for the designs and graphics of many new gen games! When they showed off Resident Evil at one of their events I thought this might be the beginning of them getting serious.
    radarthekatAnilu_777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 14 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Where are the third party app store promoters that usually show up in these articles to excoriate Apple’s walled garden, hmmmm?
    radarthekatAnilu_777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 19
    No! Not the same Epic that accused Apple of profiteering and anti-competitive shenanigans against itself and other developers! I can't believe they would do something like this!

    I'm kidding, they're just proving how much of GIANT a*%holes they really are. 
    My 13 year old got sick of the constant pestering in game to BUY, Buy, Buy! Ended up deleting it, thank god!!

    The end may be nigh Epic!!
    radarthekatAnilu_777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 242member
    What a horrible company. Put them out of business 
    radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 17 of 19
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 242member
    Madbum said:
    Chinese communist owned EPIC Games, lol

    But Biden Justice department s still supporting them in anti trust suit vs Apple?

    somebody on the Chinese communist payroll?

    This post is racist. 

  • Reply 18 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,986member
    Madbum said:
    Chinese communist owned EPIC Games, lol

    But Biden Justice department s still supporting them in anti trust suit vs Apple?

    somebody on the Chinese communist payroll?


    Nice try, but Sweeney sold the Chinese a piece of the pie, and he therefore is the man in the mirror to which all evil radiates from.
    edited March 2023 Anilu_777watto_cobrajony0
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