FTC fines Fortnite maker Epic Games $520M over children’s privacy charges • TechCrunch

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced monday morning it will charge Epic Games with a payment of $520 million on children’s privacy-related fees. Epic Games, the company that makes popular games for all ages like “Fortnite” and “Fall Guys,” is accused of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by deploying “design tricks, known as dark patterns, to trick millions of players into making unintentional games. purchase,” the FTC said in a statement Press Release.

The $520 million payment was split into two settlements: the COPPA fine amounted to $275 million, which is the largest ever penalty for violating FTC rules. The FTC also suggested that Epic should pay $245 million to refund customers for what it calls “dark patterns and payment methods.” If Epic Games pays that fine, it would be the FTC’s previous largest refund in a gaming case.

In addition to making it too easy for kids to shop online, the FTC also had issues with Epic’s live text and voice communication features, which were set to on by default. The FTC states that children are vulnerable to harassment and abuse because of these features, especially since Epic has no way of guaranteeing that children and adults will not be paired together while playing online. According to the FTC Press Releasechildren have faced bullying, intimidation, harassment and “traumatic issues like suicide” while playing the game.

Over the past two years, Epic has raised more than $3 billion in venture capital, most recently Valuation of 31.5 billion USD. Together with Lego, the parent company has invested 1 billion dollars, Epic Games is working hard to build a kid-friendly metaverse.

Epic Games has also been drawn in a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the tech giant of anticompetitive behavior. The video game company has challenged Apple’s policy that it can remove products from the iOS App Store if the app reroutes customers to in-app billing, which gets Apple a 30% cut .


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