NewsEpic Games agrees to pay record-breaking $520 million for privacy violations


Epic Games, the developer of the popular video game Fortnite, agreed to pay $520 million over allegations the company violated digital privacy protections for children and used so-called “dark patterns” to trick users into making unintentional purchases, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Monday.

“As early as 2017, Epic employees urged the company to change the default settings to require users to opt in for voice chat, citing concern about the impact on children in particular,” the FTC said in its announcement. “Despite this and reports that children had been harassed, including sexually, while playing the game, the company resisted turning off the default settings.”

“Epic ignored more than one million user complaints and repeated employee concerns that ‘huge’ numbers of users were being wrongfully charged,” the FTC said. “In fact, Epic’s changes only made the problem worse… Using internal testing, Epic purposefully obscured cancel and refund features to make them more difficult to find.”

Canada Judge Authorizes Fortnite Addiction Lawsuit

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A Canadian Superior Court judge has authorized a lawsuit brought forward by three parents who say their children would not sleep, eat, or shower because they were addicted to playing Fortnite.

The parents allege the game was deliberately made to be highly addictive and that it has had a lasting effect on their children.

Epic Launches Fortnite Party Worlds for Socializing

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Epic Games is introducing a new way to experience Fortnite that is focused on peaceful interaction with other players. It’s called Fortnite Party Worlds, and each location counts as a non-threatening social space “for players to hang out, play fun mini-games, and make new friends.”

Epic explains that Party Worlds are different to Hubs because they are simply places to socialize and relax without links being available to other islands. Meanwhile, Hubs are used as a discovery tool for islands and content.