Epic Games will pay a huge $520 million combined settlement, and everyone is asking, “Is Fortnite getting banned in Australia?” This comes after a Federal Trade Commission investigation revealed that it violated children’s privacy and misled some Fortnite players into purchasing products they didn’t want, therefore Fortnite was punished in Australia rather than banned. According to the FTC, this is the heaviest penalty ever assessed by the regulatory organization. “No developer creates a game with the intention of ending up here,” Epic Games explained.
Is Fortnite getting banned in Australia?
So, what went wrong with Epic Games? Why is Fortnite getting banned in Australia? The FTC accuses the multibillion-dollar gaming firm of making a fortune off of youngsters while failing to comply with internet safety regulations. The first of two settlements announced on Monday deals with the acquisition of personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13, as well as in-game settings that permit voice and text communication by default. Fans wondered if this would prompt a more strict ruling and wondered “Is Fortnite getting banned in Australia?” Epic was fined $275 million for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule and pledged to change Fortnite’s default settings.
Fortnite Fined in Australia
The second Fortnite settlement in Australia includes the use of “Epic used dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases and let children rack up unauthorized charges without any parental involvement.” Epic is especially accused of making it easy to purchase skins accidentally when previewing them and making it tough to find the refund option when players want to reverse the transaction. According to the FTC, when money was reimbursed, Epic would occasionally restrict those individuals, preventing them from accessing previously paid-for content. As a result, Epic will provide $245 million to a fund that will reimburse consumers who made unintentional purchases.
This appears to be a thing that all online games do lately, not just Fortnite. In a blog post, Epic Games claimed that it believes this is a landmark moment in the establishment of regulatory conventions governing online gaming. “The old status quo for in-game commerce and privacy has changed, and many developer practices should be reconsidered,” the company says. “We share the underlying principles of fairness, transparency, and privacy that the FTC enforces, and the practices referenced in the FTC’s complaints are not how Fortnite operates.”
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the Epic says were not intentionally exploitative but will now be changed:
- Automatically saving payment details.
- Single-button press purchases.
- Accounts requesting reimbursements for fraudulent transactions have been deactivated.
- Self-service refunds are not available.
- For gamers under the age of 13, there are no spending limits.
These historic settlements demonstrate that the FTC is not afraid to initiate disputes with large corporations, particularly those in the gambling sector. The commission is currently attempting to prohibit Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, alleging that the Xbox maker’s ability to create future system exclusives such as Call of Duty will harm competition. In response, Microsoft has promised to do whatever to placate the FTC, from putting Call of Duty on Game Pass’s competitor program PS Plus to allowing its employees to unionize without fear of punishment.
Epic Games cannot afford to make mistakes like these. Fortnite produced $US billion in sales in its first two years. It should, however, act as a wake-up call to other gaming companies to take these principles more seriously as well. For years, it’s been a running joke that online gaming is filled with kids insulting each other in voice chat and parents who are pissed off about credit card bills for FIFA packs and Fortnite dances. This was both right and unlawful, according to the FTC. We’ll see how much of a difference it makes when this agreement is reached.
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