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Epic settles loot box lawsuit with Fortnite and Rocket League virtual currency
In-game credits being provided to players who purchased blind loot boxes
All Fortnite and Rocket League players who bought blind loot boxes are to receive in-game currency as part of a class action settlement, Epic Games said on Monday.
Both games offered players the chance to buy random item loot boxes before Epic dropped the option in 2019 in favour of more transparent systems which show players what they are buying in advance.
Players who bought a random item loot llama in Fortnite Save The World prior to their discontinuation will automatically have 1,000 V-Bucks ($7.99/£6.49) deposited into their accounts “over the next few days”.
Similarly, anyone that has ever purchased an event crate or a key that was used to open a crate in Rocket League will receive 1,000 Credits (about $9/£6.80).
“While this settlement was for U.S. players only, we have decided to make this benefit available to players globally,” Epic said.
The company will begin distributing the rewards today after it received confirmation of preliminary approval for its class action settlement in the Superior Court of North Carolina, ahead of a final approval hearing in May.
The settlement also provides up to $26.5 million in cash and other benefits to US-based Fortnite and Rocket League players “to resolve claims arising from players’ purchases of Fortnite and Rocket League in-game items”.
“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,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement given to The Verge. “Players should know upfront what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases.”
The use of loot boxes, which can be highly lucrative for games companies, has come under increased scrutiny in recent years but remains legal in the US.
In April 2018, the Netherlands Gaming Authority and the Belgian Gaming Commission declared that certain types of loot boxes were in violation of gambling laws, leading to a crackdown on their inclusion in games.
In 2020, the House of Lords urged the UK government to reclassify loot boxes as gambling.