As part of a class action settlement, Epic announced on Monday that all Fortnite and Rocket League players who purchased blind item loot boxes would be refunded with in-game currency. The games, which allowed players to buy random loot boxes, were updated in 2019 to remove this option.
The class action lawsuit alleged that Epic had “violated state consumer protection laws, prevented minors from exercising their contractual disaffirmation rights, and negligently misrepresented the value of its in-game items in connection with its Fortnite and Rocket League video games.”
Players who purchased a random item loot llama in Fortnite Save The World will receive 1,000 V-Bucks, worth $7.99, in their accounts “over the next few days.” In addition, players who have bought an event crate or key used to open a crate in Rocket League will receive 1,000 Credits, worth $9.
In a statement to The Verge, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said, “We stopped offering random item loot boxes like Fortnite Loot Llamas and Rocket League Crates because we realized that some players were repeatedly disappointed by not receiving the random items they hoped for. Players should know upfront what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases.
“While this settlement was for US players only, we have decided to make this benefit available to players globally,” Epic, which is expected to begin issuing refunds today, said in a statement. The class action settlement received preliminary approval for its class action settlement in the Superior Court of North Carolina. A final approval hearing will be held in May.”
US Fortnite and Rocket League players will also receive up to $26.5 million in cash and other benefits “to resolve claims arising from players’ purchases of Fortnite and Rocket League in-game items”.
Loot boxes, which have received criticism for their lack of transparency, are still legal in the US. In April 2018, the Netherlands Gaming Authority and the Belgian Gaming Commission declared that certain types of loot boxes violated gambling laws. In 2020, a proposal was submitted the UK government to reclassify loot boxes as gambling.
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