10:20am PT by Patrick Shanley
Epic Games Responds to 'Fortnite' Money Laundering Accusations
Epic Games has issued a response to a recent report in the U.K. news outlet The Independent that claims cyber-criminals have been using the game Fortnite to launder stolen funds via the title's in-game currency, V-bucks.
"Epic Games takes these issues seriously, as chargebacks and fraud put our players and our business at risk," a spokesperson for Epic Games told The Hollywood Reporter. "As always, we encourage players to protect their accounts by turning on two-factor authentication, not re-using passwords and using strong passwords, and not sharing account information with others."
According to the Independent report, criminals were using stolen credit card details to purchase V-bucks, Fortnite's virtual in-game currency, and then selling them on the dark web at a discounted rate to players, effectively "cleaning" the stolen funds by running them through an official transactional process.
Fortnite's V-bucks generate serious revenue. The game, which is free to download, made more than $3 billion in 2018 based on its in-game purchasing system and boasts more than 125 million players.
In recent months, Epic has been at the center of a number of lawsuits involving purchasable dances for player's characters in Fortnite. Rapper 2 Milly and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro have both filed suits against the company for using dances they created in the game.