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Epic Games pays out $2.7M in class-action over in-game 'loot box' purchases in Fortnite and Rocket League

An attendee plays a video game at the BlizzCon, in Anaheim, Calif., on November 6, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jae C. Hong) An attendee plays a video game at the BlizzCon, in Anaheim, Calif., on November 6, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jae C. Hong)

Epic Games has paid out $2.75 million in a Canadian class-action settlement over in-game purchases in its video games.

The initial lawsuit alleged that Epic Games broke various consumer protection laws by offering so-called "loot boxes" in the popular videogames Rocket League and Fortnite.

A typical form of video game monetization, loot boxes allow gamers to use real money to pay for random digital items like weapons and outfits. The practice has come under fire, particularly from parents who have racked up large credit card bills while their children make several in-game purchases without permission in the hopes of acquiring rare items.

The class-action was certified by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. By agreeing to the settlement, Epic Games released itself from all claims raised in the legal proceedings.

Anyone in Canada who made a loot box purchase in Fortnite from 2017 to 2019 and Rocket League from 2016 to 2019 were able to join the class action before the August deadline. Guardians of gamers were also eligible.

Participants in the class-action began receiving payments of up to $25 this week. Lawyers in the class-action will receive up to 25 per cent of the settlement amount.

"The payment of the settlement amount is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing, or fault by the defendants," a notice of proposed settlement explains. "Any remaining funds after distribution to eligible Class members and payment of expenses will be donated to the Law Foundation of British Columbia and one or more charitable organizations whose mission relates to promoting the wellbeing of those who consume video games, as agreed to by the Parties, and subject to the approval of the Court."

In a statement, Epic Games said it "discontinued the use of random item loot boxes in Fortnite and Rocket League in 2019 because we realized that while some players really enjoy being surprised by the content of random item loot boxes, other players are disappointed."

A spokesperson went on to say, "Players should know upfront what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases."


Oct. 2: This article has been updated to include a statement from Epic Games.


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