Parents of children who purchased virtual gear without knowledge of the popular Fortnite video game will soon be able to get a refund.
U.S. regulators began notifying more than 37 million people via email that they may be eligible for compensation as part of a legal settlement with Fortnite maker Epic Games.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced late last year that Epic Games would pay $520 million in fines and refunds to resolve complaints about children’s privacy and its payment methods that deceived players into making unintentional purchases.
Part of the $520 million includes $245 million in customer refunds as part of a settlement finalized in March. It’s designed to cover the cost of some unwanted V-Bucks, in-game currency, or virtual items such as clothing or cartoon purple llama loot boxes.
Consumers have until January 17 to submit claims.
Epic Games also agreed to pay a $275 million fine for allegedly collecting personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without notifying their parents or obtaining parental consent. This is the largest penalty ever imposed for violating FTC rules.
According to the FTC, those eligible for refunds include Fortnite users who used in-game currency to purchase unwanted items between January 2017 and September 2022; January 2017 through November 2018 during which children had their credit cards charged without their knowledge; and those who had their accounts locked after complaining to their credit card companies about improper charges.
After Epic Games settled the case in December, it said it implemented additional protections to prevent accidental purchases. In a statement updated Tuesday, it advised people to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s page.