Epic Games Fined €1.1 Million

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Predatory Tactics in Fortnite Item Shop

Epic Games Penalized

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) fined Epic Games €1.1 million (£945,488) for violating EU consumer laws. The investigation found Epic Games guilty of failing to provide clear information about in-game purchases, leading many young players to make unplanned purchases.

Violation of Consumer Protection Laws

The lack of transparency directly contravened EU consumer protection laws. The fine, split into two penalties, aimed to address the issue. The first, €562,500, was for engaging in illegal aggressive commercial practices, including utilizing the fear of missing out (FOMO). The second, also €562,500, was for misleading players with countdown timers in the Fortnite item shop.

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Epic Games' Response

Epic Games plans to appeal the ruling, claiming the ACM's mandates would diminish the gaming experience. The company expressed concern about negative publicity and affirmed its commitment to an enjoyable gaming environment.

Changes to the Item Shop

Epic Games will implement changes for players under 18 in the Netherlands. Starting May 24, 2024, these players cannot view or buy items in the shop available for less than 48 hours. This aims to protect young consumers and curb impulsive purchases.

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The fine emphasizes growing scrutiny of in-game purchases and their impact on young players. By holding Epic Games accountable for misleading marketing, the ACM underscores the importance of transparency and consumer protection. As Epic Games appeals and implements changes, the case highlights the need for ethical business practices in gaming.

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