If your child bought a snorkel or a floss dance move for their character in Fortnite without your permission, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give you your money back.
The government consumer watchdog agency on Tuesday completed a previously announced $245 million settlement with Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite. The privately held North Carolina company will pay consumers who the FTC says were tricked by “dark patterns” into making unwanted purchases for items in the game.
The company will pay the FTC, which will then reimburse customers, who can visit FTC.gov/Fortnite to claim a refund.
“Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button,” the FTC said in a statement. “The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent.”
Fortnite players can use real money to buy things like costumes and dance moves for their characters, and the FTC said Epic made it all too easy for a child to ransack their parents’ credit card to get them. In one example cited in court documents filed by the FTC, a parent said their 11-year-old son had racked up $140 of in-game purchases over a span of eight days.
Epic also agreed to pay a $275 million fine for violating children’s privacy rules. In a statement in December, the company said it had accepted the $520 million total settlement to “be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players.”