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Epic Games, maker of 'Fortnite' video game, begins $2.75M settlement payout

The maker of the popular video game "Fortnite" has begun compensating claims in a $2.75-million settlement to a Canadian class-action lawsuit over the inclusion of controversial "loot boxes."

The settlement website says that compensations by Epic Games began on Thursday,and legal documents noted that the settlement "is a compromise of disputed claims and is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault" in the case.

The class action was certified by the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the settlement also resolves claims in a separate, similar lawsuit in Quebec.

The lawsuit originally alleged that Epic's placement of loot boxes in games like "Fortnite" and "Rocket League" — where players pay real money to acquire a digital roll-of-the-dice opportunity to win an in-game item — constituted unlicensed gambling.

In a statement, Epic says it removed such loot boxes from those games in 2019, and players "should know upfront what they are paying for when they make in-game purchases."

The company announced on the same day compensations began that it is laying off about 16 per cent of its workforce as Epic deals with "major structural change" to the economics of the business model for "Fortnite."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2023.

The Canadian Press