The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets fines Epic Games €1.1 million for using unfair commercial practices targeting children in Fortnite. Learn more about the investigation and its implications.

Epic Games Penalised for Unfair Practices in Fortnite Targeting Children

Epic Games, the developer behind the popular video game Fortnite, has been fined €1.1 million by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) for engaging in unfair commercial practices aimed at children. This significant penalty highlights the growing scrutiny of in-game marketing tactics and their impact on young players.

Aggressive Advertising Tactics Under Scrutiny

The ACM found that Epic Games employed targeted advertising strategies to pressure children into making purchases while playing Fortnite. The use of phrases such as "buy now" and "get now" within the game was deemed an "illegal aggressive commercial practice" by the regulator. These tactics were designed to create a sense of urgency, compelling young players to make immediate purchase decisions.

According to the NL Times, the Dutch regulator has ordered Epic Games to pay €562,000 in damages for these aggressive marketing practices. The regulator emphasized that such tactics exploit the vulnerability and inexperience of children, making them feel pressured to buy in-game items to avoid missing out.

Fraudulent Countdown Practices

In addition to the aggressive advertising, the ACM also identified fraudulent practices related to the in-game item store. The investigation revealed that items advertised with countdown timers, indicating limited availability, were often still available at the same price after the timer expired. This deceptive practice misled players into believing they needed to act quickly to secure the items.

As a result, Epic Games has been fined an additional €562,000 for these misleading practices. The ACM highlighted that children felt pressured to make hasty purchase decisions due to the false urgency created by the countdown timers.

Deadline for Compliance

The Dutch regulator has given Epic Games until June 10 to rectify these business practices. This deadline is intended to ensure that the company implements necessary changes to prevent further exploitation of young players through misleading advertising and sales tactics.

Implications for the Gaming Industry

This fine against Epic Games serves as a warning to other companies in the gaming industry about the importance of ethical marketing practices, especially when it comes to young and impressionable audiences. The decision underscores the need for greater transparency and fairness in how in-game purchases are marketed to children.


The €1.1 million fine imposed on Epic Games by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets reflects serious concerns about the company's marketing strategies targeting children in Fortnite. As regulators continue to scrutinize the gaming industry's practices, companies will need to adopt more ethical approaches to in-game advertising to ensure the protection of younger players. This case sets a precedent for how aggressive and misleading marketing tactics are addressed, aiming to foster a safer gaming environment for children.