Epic is set to settle a class action lawsuit over the use of random loot boxes in Fortnite“Save the World” mode by paying affected players with in-game currency. Rocket league Players who have purchased Loot Boxes in that game will also receive an in-game payout.
While Epic never offered loot boxes in FortniteThe mega-popular Battle Royale mode, allowed “Save the World” players to purchase “loot llamas” filled with random items until early 2019 (amid international outrage over the random loot box business and its similarity to games of chance). Shortly after finishing the practice, Epic faced a class action lawsuit alleging, among other things, that it had “psychologically manipulated[d] their young players think they will ‘be lucky.’
Under a proposed deal for that suit, which Epic has said has achieved preliminary approval, all players who purchased a Loot Llama at any time will be rewarded with 1,000 V-Bucks (worth about $ 8). Even though it’s settling a lawsuit in the US, Epic says this same treatment will apply to everyone. Fortnite players worldwide.
Rocket league Similarly, players will receive 1,000 credits (worth about $ 9.10) if they purchased a random event box or key in that game before Epic stopped offering it in October 2019 (only a few months after purchase. Rocket league developer Psyonix). Players of both games will not have to do anything to claim the benefit, which will appear in their accounts in the coming days.
A marketing bargain?
Epic estimates approximately 6.5 million Fortnite players and 2.9 million Rocket league Players will receive automatic payments in virtual currency, according to The Verge. That suggests a rough valuation of more than $ 78.3 million in digital rewards payments as part of the deal.
However, the actual cost Epic incurs for the giveaway will likely end up being much less. Distributing the purely virtual currency incurs minimal direct costs for Epic and only represents an indirect cost in the sense that it replaces the virtual currency purchases that players would have made anyway. Some expired players won’t end up using their digital windfall at all, while others wouldn’t have spent additional money on the game regardless.
In a way, the digital giveaway could even be seen as an effective promotion, drawing players back to games and creating the potential for them to spend more on additional microtransactions in the future. In that sense, the settlement is somewhat reminiscent of a Nintendo pricing case that the company settled with prosecutors in 1991. The payment came in the form of a $ 5 coupon that could only be redeemed by purchasing additional Nintendo products – a hit. marketing that Nintendo is probably saddened because it didn’t come up on its own.
In addition to virtual currency, Epic will also provide “up to $ 26.5 million in cash and other benefits to Fortnite Y Rocket league players “to resolve claims. Those cash payments (up to $ 50 per claimant) will only be available to players who submit an active claim form establishing that they believe their purchase constituted” consumer fraud “or breach of contract. Minors in California who bought a box of loot “with [their] own money and without parental permission “will also be eligible for a cash refund of up to $ 50 if they file a claim.
“We believe that gamers should know in advance what they are paying for when making in-game purchases,” said Epic. wrote in a tweet announcing the move today. “That is why today we only offer X-Ray Llamas that show you the contents before you buy them in ‘Save the World'” equally transparent planes in Rocket league).
While some European countries have banned loot boxes as a form of illegal gambling, legislative efforts to regulate the practice in some US states (and the US Senate) have generally stalled after gain some momentum in 2018 and 2019.