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Epic settling loot box lawsuit by paying virtual money

Epic Games are settling a class-action lawsuit brought over loot boxes in Rocket League and Fortnite: Save The World with payouts in the games’ microtransaction currencies. Anyone who bought a Loot Llama in Fortnite: Save The World will get 1000 V-Bucks, while people who purchased Event Crates or Keys in Rocket League will get 1000 Credits. Some people can pursue further claims for actual money, too.

Fortnite: Save The World and Rocket League did previously sell loot boxes containing random items for digibucks, though they’ve since switched to item stores plainly selling items. In Fortnite it was Loot Llamas, in Rocket League it was crates.

“While some of you enjoyed purchasing random item Loot Llamas and being surprised by the content unlocked, others were disappointed,” Epic say about Fortnite, and basically the same for Rocket League.

Evidently enough were disappointed for a class-action suit to build. Now a court has stamped a preliminary approval on this settlement, almost bringing the matter to a close – without any judgment on whether Epic were in the wrong or not.

The settlement’s website explains, “The lawsuit alleges that Epic Games 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.”

The lawsuit only covered people in the US, but Epic are offering the 1000 creds to eligible people worldwide. They’d run you £6.49/€7.99/$7.99 in real money. Epic say eligible people should have them automatically added to their accounts “within the next few days.”

Fortnite replaced random llamas with ones showing their contents.

While all eligible players will automatically receive those thousand cybersmackers, people in the US can still pursue additional benefits in certain circumstances. People could claim actual real money as partial reimbursment if they bought virtuacash or other in-game items. And they could a partial refund if they were a minor and spent real money without permission from their parent or guardian – though this process would mean agreeing to close that account. And you’ll need documentation to back up claims, obvs.

Many developers turned away from loot boxes as it became increasingly likely that they might fall foul of gambling laws in some places. Belgium’s gaming comission declared some loot boxes are illegal gambling, for one, and the Netherlands cracked down too. Rocket League initially disabled loot boxes in those countries in 2019, then later replaced the loot box system entirely for all players. In the UK, both the Children’s Commissioner and a House Of Lords report have recommended regulating loot boxes under gambling laws, but the government haven’t followed through.

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