The FTC want to know Microsoft’s exclusivity plans and also make Epic pay $245m back to players


Over in the United States the Federal Trade Comission (FTC) are on a bit of a roll when it comes to gaming. They are currently investigating the Microsoft buy out of Activision Blizzard and ahead the full legal trial it has been revealed that they are unhappy with the documents Microsoft have provided.

It seems they specifically want to know about their plans for future games from Zenimax (Bethesda). We already know Starfield is Xbox and PC exclusive but it seems Microsoft would be forced to reveal if future games, including the already announced The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5, would also be exclusive.

I would be very surprised if The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5 were not exclusive, but if they are that’s going to count against them in the Activision trial.

While all that is going on the FTC have also been looking very closely at Fortnite, specifically “dark patterns to trick players into making unwanted purchases”.  Epic settled the issue in December 2022 was fined a total of $275million but now the FTC have said they also need to give them $245 million which will be paid back to consumers who were ‘tricked’ in to making purchases.

In a complaint announced in December as part of a settlement package with Epic, the FTC said that Epic deployed a variety of design tricks known as dark patterns aimed at getting consumers of all ages to make unintended in-game purchases. Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button. The company also made it easy for children to make purchases while playing Fortnite without requiring any parental consent. According to the FTC’s complaint, Epic also locked the accounts of customers who disputed unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.

Under the FTC’s order, Epic must pay $245 million, which will be used to provide refunds to consumers. The order also prohibits Epic from charging consumers through the use of dark patterns or from otherwise charging consumers without obtaining their affirmative consent. Additionally, the order bars Epic from blocking consumers from accessing their accounts for disputing unauthorized charges.

Source: Twitter / FTC

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News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.