Games like Epic’s Fortnite rely on people making microtransactions in the game to generate revenue, and it is a very lucrative model as Epic was previously reported to be earning millions upon millions a day from people buying skins, and so on.
Unfortunately, it seems that the FTC isn’t too thrilled with the way Epic has been pushing its microtransactions, so much so that they have announced that they have come to an agreement with Epic in which the developer will pay a fine in the tune of $520 million over certain children privacy law violations. According to FTC Chair Lina M. Khan:
“As our complaints note, Epic used privacy-invasive default settings and deceptive interfaces that tricked Fortnite users, including teenagers and children. Protecting the public, and especially children, from online privacy invasions and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices.”
In addition to paying the massive fine, Epic is now also expected to adopt “strong privacy default settings” for children and teens, ensuring features in the game like voice and text communications are disabled by default for users that fall into these groups. The company will also need to launch a “comprehensive privacy program” that addresses the issues laid out in the complaint, while also getting regular, independent audits to ensure that these changes are maintained.
Source: Games Radar