FTC Fines Fortnite Maker Epic Games $520M Over Children’s Privacy, Item Charges

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Monday morning it will charge Epic Games with a $520 million settlement over charges related to children’s privacy.
  • Epic Games, which makes popular all-ages games like “Fortnite” and “Fall Guys,” allegedly violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by deploying “design tricks, known as dark patterns, to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases,” the FTC said in a press release.
  • The $520 million payment is divided into two settlements: The COPPA fine amounts to $275 million, which is the largest-ever penalty for violating an FTC rule. The FTC also fined Epic $245 million to refund customers for what it calls “dark patterns and billing practices.”
  • Epic says it will pay both of these fines, the latter of which will be the FTC’s largest-ever refund amount in a gaming case.