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Fortnite: Save the World’s loot boxes face legal attack

Fortnite: Save the World’s loot boxes face legal attack

The legal guardian of a young Fortnite player has filed a lawsuit against Epic Games’ use of “predatory” loot boxes in Save the World.

The Verge reports that the underage player - referred to as R.A - spent a considerable amount of cash on the PVE segment of Fortnite’s loot boxes, colloquially known as Llamas.

This was prior to an update in January that disclosed drop rates in Llamas. The suit argues that at the time, Epic was engaging in a “predatory scheme” that duped its client and thousands of hapless consumers into paying considerable sums of money.

“Plaintiff, like hundreds of thousands of consumers, fell for Epic’s deceptive sales practices and purchased Epic’s Llamas hoping for rare and powerful loot,” said the lawsuit, available in full over on The Verge. “Plaintiff did not receive that desired loot and never had a realistic chance of doing so.”

It’s not quite made clear how the lawyers or guardian knew how realistic the chance of the client receiving their desired loot.

The lawsuit also opens fire on V-Bucks, Fortnite’s virtual currency across both Battle Royale and Save the World. Like many virtual currencies, it is deliberately sold in bundles that don’t quite equate to the price of items in V-Bucks, practically forcing buyers to overstock.

Virtual currencies and loot boxes have started to face local legislation - recently, FIFA 19 removed its Points currency from a version of the game in Belgium, while the likes of Blizzard and 2K Games have had to pull loot boxes from Overwatch and NBA 2K in the region. 

Fortnite also came under attack for lacking purchase history, which the lawsuit argues makes it impossible to track how much players are spending on microtransactions.

The loot box conversation has slowed down as of late, but consensus on their legality continues to be torn. The ESA has stressed again and again that hiding random-chance prizes in boxes for real-money payments is not gambling.


Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and Pocketgamer.biz, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 GamesIndustry.biz 100 Rising Star list.

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