In the Matter of Epic Games, Inc

$245 million in fines


Epic Games faced a fine from the FTC after allegations that the company employed deceptive techniques to manipulate players into making unintended purchases, while also allowing children to accumulate unauthorized charges without parental consent.

Our analysis

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against Epic Games, accusing the company of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and engaging in deceptive practices. Epic Games has made it difficult for users to cancel or request refunds for unauthorized charges, particularly for Battle Passes, Llamas, and Cosmetics in their game Fortnite. Initially, users were not allowed to cancel any charges, but starting from June 2019, Epic introduced a limited-time option to cancel Cosmetics charges, albeit with certain limitations. However, users have complained that Epic employs design tactics, known as "dark patterns," to discourage cancellations and refunds by obscuring the option or making it hard to find. Furthermore, Epic intentionally created a complex and lengthy refund request process, hiding the link under the "Settings" tab and requiring users to navigate unnecessary steps such as providing a reason and confirming their intent to request a refund. These practices have raised concerns about Epic's approach towards customer refunds and their transparency in addressing unauthorized charges.


As part of the settlement, Epic Games agreed to pay a $245 million fine, which will be used to refund affected consumers. The company is now prohibited from using dark patterns or charging consumers without their explicit consent. Epic Games is also barred from blocking access to purchased content when unauthorized charges are disputed.


Federal Trade Commission & Epic Games

Case number

Docket No. C-4790

Related deceptive patterns

Related laws

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