Epic Games Contracts with Minors for Purchases in Fortnite Class Action

Minors may be able to break contracts they make without adult input. The complaint for this class action brings suit against Epic Games, Inc., alleging it misleads and manipulates minors into making contracts with it, to use real money to buy virtual currency and objects, for use in the game Fortnite, and in the end, “misleads them about their right to undo their contracts and obtain a refund.”

The complaint alleges, “Epic makes most of its money from the sale of in-game content that players purchase electronically while in the game environment.” These purchases are made through the use of “V-Bucks,” which players get either through game play (with difficulty), or by paying for them with US dollars.

V-Bucks are not refundable, but the complaint says this is not disclosed at the time they are purchased. Also, V-Bucks are sold at rates that makes it difficult for players to know how the rate of exchange—for example, 1000 V-Bucks for $7.99. No purchase history is provided, making it difficult for players to know how much they’ve spent. Once parents have permitted the use of their credit card in the game, they are not required to approve other purchases, and they are not sent receipts.

While Fortnite permits some refunds for some items, the complaint alleges that the terms are so narrow that transactions are for all intents and purposes nonrefundable.

Fortnite also puts pressure on players by making certain items available only for a limited time, the complaint says, and also because “in-game items purchased with V-Bucks become stale quickly.” The complaint further alleges that minors are induced to play for long periods of time and therefore can be induced to make more purchases when they are tired.

The complaint contends, “Under California law and the law of most, if not all, other states, minors are allowed to disaffirm—i.e., to avoid—contracts that they have entered into.” Epic Games thus misleads minors, the complaint alleges, when it claims that purchases are nonrefundable.

The complaint proposes two classes for this action:

  • The Minor Class is all minors in the US who, at any time between July 27, 2017 and the present, had an account in Fortnite they used to play the game and (1) exchanged V-Bucks for items or game content, or (2) bought V-Bucks, items, or game content to be used in Fortnite.
  • The California Parent Class is all persons who, at any time between July 27, 2017 and the present, were the parent or guardian of a minor who, while living in California, had a Fortnite account used to play the game, and who, using money supplied in any form by the parent or guardian, (1) exchanged V-Bucks for items or game content, or (2) bought V-Bucks, items, or game content to be used in Fortnite.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Epic Games Contracts with Minors for Purchases in Fortnite Complaint

February 8, 2021

Minors may be able to break contracts they make without adult input. The complaint for this class action brings suit against Epic Games, Inc., alleging it misleads and manipulates minors into making contracts with it, to use real money to buy virtual currency and objects, for use in the game Fortnite, and in the end, “misleads them about their right to undo their contracts and obtain a refund.”

Epic Games Contracts with Minors for Purchases in Fortnite Complaint

Case Event History

Epic Games Contracts with Minors for Purchases in Fortnite Complaint

February 8, 2021

Minors may be able to break contracts they make without adult input. The complaint for this class action brings suit against Epic Games, Inc., alleging it misleads and manipulates minors into making contracts with it, to use real money to buy virtual currency and objects, for use in the game Fortnite, and in the end, “misleads them about their right to undo their contracts and obtain a refund.”

Epic Games Contracts with Minors for Purchases in Fortnite Complaint
Tags: Children/Minors, Contracts with Minors/Refusal to Allow Minors to Disaffirm