Epic is set to settle a class action lawsuit over the use of random containers in Fortnite Save the World by paying affected players … in in-game currency. Rocket League fans who previously purchased containers in this game will also receive compensation in in-game currency.
While Epic never offered containers in the popular Fortnite Battle Royale mode, it did allow players until early 2019 to buy Llamas filled with random items in Save the World. The practice was then canceled amid international outrage over the gambling-like random container business. Shortly after the abolition of this practice, Epic faced a class action lawsuit alleging, among other things, that it psychologically manipulated its young players into thinking they were “lucky.”
According to the proposed settlement for this case, which Epic says has already received preliminary approval, all players who purchase a cosmetic llama at any time will be rewarded with 1,000 V-Bucks (in-game currency, roughly $ 8). Epic said that even though this lawsuit only applies to American players, Fortnite fans around the world will receive such a reward.
Rocket League players will similarly receive 1,000 Credits (roughly $ 9.1) if they purchased Event Crates or Keys in that game before Epic stopped offering them in October 2019 (just months after purchasing Psyonix, developer of Rocket League). Players of both games will not need to do anything to receive the bonus that will appear on their accounts in the coming days.
Epic estimates that in the US alone, approximately 6.5 million Fortnite players and 2.9 million Rocket League fans will receive automated payments in virtual currency. This assumes a rough estimate of over $ 78.3 million in digital settlement reward payments (if converted in-game currency to dollar equivalent). How many people will receive virtual payments in the rest of the world is not reported.
However, Epic’s actual distribution costs will be much lower. The distribution of purely virtual currency is associated with indirect losses – some of the users, having received virtual money, will refuse to spend real money. This “settlement” of a lawsuit is more like effective advertising, luring players back into the game and encouraging them to spend more real money on micropayments in the future.
However, in addition to the virtual currency, Epic will also provide up to $ 26.5 million in cash and other perks to Fortnite and Rocket League players from the United States as part of the settlement of claims. These cash payments (up to $ 50 per applicant) will only be available to those who complete a specific form. Minors in California who purchase containers with their own money and without parental permission will also be eligible for a refund of up to $ 50.
“We believe that players should know in advance what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases,” – wrote Epic in a tweet announcing this step. Today, the company sells containers that show the contents prior to purchase. While some European countries have banned containers as a form of illegal gambling, legislative efforts to regulate the practice in the US have generally stalled.
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