'Fortnite' Creators Epic Games Facing Lawsuit Over So-Called “Predatory” Loot Boxes

A lawsuit was filed yesterday, as reported by The Verge, against Epic Games on behalf of a minor and his father, Steve Altes. It accuses the developer of creating a predatory scheme within its hit battle royale game, Fortnite.

Specifically, the complaint is against Fortnite's Llamas which, the plaintiffs say, misrepresent the chances of winning. The court document states:

"Rising to the forefront in a multi-billion-dollar video game industry, Epic has perfected a predatory scheme whereby it exploits players, including minors, by inducing them to purchase in-game loot boxes in the pursuit of the best in-game item schematics, heroes, and survivors (collectively, 'loot')."

This isn't the first time video game loot boxes have come under fire, of course, with Belgium going so far as to ban them under gambling laws. They're a contentious topic at the best of times, with the gambling aspect in particular driving much of the debate. Epic did previously adjust their model, getting rid of "blind" loot boxes, some time ago.

This isn't the first time that Fortnite has faced a lawsuit, either. It was recently challenged over its use of dance emotes, although Epic ultimately avoided being sued.

It's hard to say if anything will come of this, especially since US law hasn't addressed the issue of loot boxes yet. But it's certainly yet another reminder of the concerns surrounding them.

Do you have concerns about loot boxes? Let us know over Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Image Credit: Epic

Sam Greer

Sam Greer is a freelance writer/video creator, loud Scot and one of only three Lightning Returns fans. She has written for several outlets including the BBC, the Guardian, Eurogamer, PC Gamer and GamesMaster. Covers a wide range of topics but likes to champion games that do things a little differently.

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