Epic Games fined millions for unfair treatment of children in Fortnite

Game Developer Fined for Unfair Targeting of Children in Netherlands: Epic Games’ Case

In the Netherlands, game developer Epic Games has been fined 1.1 million euros for unfair practices targeting children playing their popular game Fortnite. The fine was imposed by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), which is the Dutch consumer watchdog.

According to the ACM, children playing Fortnite are pressured to make purchases, which goes against regulations. Fortnite is a free online game where players can make purchases for a fee, and it is particularly popular among children. The ACM found that children can feel pressured to make purchases in various ways while playing the game, and Epic Games has been accused of responding to children’s vulnerabilities. Tactics such as using texts like ‘Get it now’ or ‘Buy now,’ as well as countdown clocks, are used to prompt children to make purchases, which are considered aggressive and deceptive commercial practices.

The watchdog has ordered Epic Games to cease these unfair trade practices. In response, Epic Games has informed the ACM that they are taking steps in their Item Shop, such as removing expiring timers, to address the issue. By complying with the regulatory requirements, Epic Games aims to ensure fair gameplay for all users, especially children playing Fortnite.

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