Is Fortnite getting banned in Australia? Epic Games will pay a hefty $US 520 Million ($AU 776 Million) joint settlement after a Federal Trade Commission probe determined that it breached children’s privacy and deceived some Fortnite gamers into purchasing items they didn’t want, so the Fortnite fined in Australia and not Fortnite getting banned in Australia. The FTC said on Monday that it is the highest penalty ever imposed by the regulatory body. “No developer designs a game with the idea of ending up here,” Epic Games said.
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Is Fortnite getting banned in Australia?
So, what exactly did Epic Games do wrong? Why is Fortnite getting banned in Australia. The FTC accuses the Billion-dollar gaming corporation of generating a fortune off of children while failing to obey the standards designed to keep them safe online. The first of two settlements announced on Monday concerns the collection of personal information from Fortnite users under the age of 13, as well as in-game settings that enable voice and text communication by default. As a breach of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, Epic was fined $US 275 Million ($AU 410 Million) and promised to adjust Fortnite’s default setting.
Fortnite Fined in Australia
The second settlement of Fortnite Fined in Australia involves the use of “dark patterns to deceive gamers into making unnecessary purchases.” Epic is specifically accused of making it simple to unintentionally purchase skins when previewing them and making it difficult to discover the refund option when players wish to reverse the transaction. According to the FTC, when payments were refunded, Epic would sometimes block those users, locking them out of material they had previously paid for. As a consequence, Epic will provide $US 245 Million ($AU365 Million) to a fund to compensate users who made unintended purchases.
I know what you’re thinking: this seems like something that every online game, not just Fortnite, does. And, indeed, Epic Games stated in a blog post today that it believes this is a watershed moment in the evolution of regulatory norms governing online gaming. “The previous status quo for in-game business and privacy has altered, and many developer practices should be revisited,” according to the firm. “We share the FTC’s basic ideals of fairness, openness, and privacy, and the methods cited in the FTC’s allegations are not how Fortnite works.”
Here’s a short rundown of some of the approaches Epic claims were not purposefully exploitative but will now be changed:
- Saving payment information automatically
- Purchases of single-button presses
- Accounts that demand refunds for fraudulent purchases are disabled.
- There are no self-service refunds.
- There are no spending limitations for players under the age of 13.
These historic settlements show that the FTC isn’t hesitant to start conflicts with big companies, particularly in the gaming industry. The commission is presently seeking to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard for $US 69 Billion ($AU 103 Billion), arguing that the Xbox maker’s capacity to make games like Call of Duty console exclusives in the future will hurt competition. In response, Microsoft has pledged everything under the sun to appease the FTC, from placing Call of Duty on Game Pass’s competitor program PS Plus to allowing its employees to unionize without retaliation.
Epic Games cannot afford to make these blunders. In its first two years, Fortnite generated $US 9 Billion ($AU 13 Billion) in revenue. However, it should serve as a wake-up signal to other gaming firms to take these guidelines more seriously as well. For years, it’s been a running gag that internet gaming is full of youngsters throwing insults into voice chat and parents upset about credit card bills for FIFA packs and Fortnite dances. According to the FTC, this was both correct and illegal. We’ll see how much of a difference that makes after this settlement.
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