“Fortnite” developer Epic Games has been slapped with a hefty fine of £201 million (about R4.49 bn) for allowing children to “rack up unauthorised charges without any parental involvement."
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the video game developer tricked people “of all ages” to make unwanted in-game purchases with “counter-intuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration.”
As well as having to pay up, Epic has been banned from using such methods to trick players and has been ordered to make unnecessary purchases without consent, preventable.
The money from the fine will go towards refunding gamers.
The latest fine comes after the firm had to pay out millions for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Epic has said it had eliminated pay-to-win and pay-to-progress mechanics when two players compete against each other and axed random item loot boxes in 2019.
It also said that it was putting into place an explicit yes/no choice to save payment information.
Epic said it had also created features such as easier access to parental controls and a PIN requirement to allow guardians to authorise payments and a daily spending limit for children under 13 years old.
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