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Part of a proposed settlement for a years-long class action lawsuit against Epic Games sees the game giant handing out in-game currency to players that purchased random draw loot boxes before the feature was essentially removed from Epic's games a few years back.
The settlement, set to be approved this week according to The Verge, marks the close of one of many loot box-centric lawsuits out there, but, due to the unique situation surrounding this particular case, the resolution doesn't yet signal any large scale legal push back against the in-app purchase scheme often likened to gambling.
In this case, the complaint was filed over monetization practices in Epic's mega popular game Fortnite, only the original issue stemmed from both its less-popular PvE mode and a lootbox system already amended by the time the lawsuit hit the legal system.
The settlement itself is the result of a 2019 lawsuit filed in California that argued the then-blindbox Loot Llama in-app purchases from Fortnite's non-battle royale Save the World mode uses unfair and deceptive marketing to entice players into a purchase.
Epic Games has since done away with the specific system the lawsuit took issue with in Fortnite: Save the World and axed a somewhat similar system from Rocket League after it acquired developer Psyonix in 2019. Still, the settlement currently up for approval automatically awards a 1,000 units of in-game currency to Fortnite and Rocket League players that dropped cash on either game's random chance IAPs .
There's more to Epic's settlement than just digital good however; the settlement also earmarks an additional $26.4 million to resolve specific complaints from adults and minors alleging legal harm, among other specific situations outlined in the claim form here.
“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 Games CEO Tim Sweeney tells The Verge. “Players should know upfront what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases.”