Not knocking the donation per se but it's a bit easier to be a good guy when you're sitting on the world's biggest pile of kid's pocket money.
Several friends have stories along the lines of their children taking not spending any money on their summer holidays because they want to save it for Fortnite hats or whatever. It's carefully designed smack for kids and there has to be a certain amount of moral push-back on that.
You could easily replace "Fortnite hats" with "Pokemon cards", "Yugioh cards", "Gameboy games", "MMO items", "Starcraft expansions", etc.
The difference with Epic is that they've managed to take a much larger chunk of the market, which is why parents have started to notice it more.
I guess it's a tricky one as toys are not really much different despite having a physical manifestation. I would have happily spent every penny I could get my hands on on Star Wars figures when I was of that age. Is marketing a useless blob of plastic to kids any different to marketing a useless bunch of bytes?
The physical blob is, well, physical. It exists for longer, and 20 years later you may dig it out and relive some of childhood memories. Bytes in the cloud tend to have much shorter life, usually defined by how long the vendor bothers to keep the server applications up.
EDIT: Funny I managed to post an exactly opposite opinion to 'DonHopkins at the same time :). Let me just clarify: I prefer no marketing of useless anything, but for toys, I think physical beats digital because digital is ephemeral.
Especially when they use some of that money to support useful bunches of bytes like Blender!
(That said, I sure loved my Star Wars action figures!)
Epic isn't really doing anything predatory they don't use RNG or other such things.
On top of that Sweeney is also doing quite a lot personally both as a conservationist and philanthropist.
To the kids, the cost is worth it, bringing them happiness, social experiences, and a fun childhood to look back on. As long as it the amount doesn't get unreasonable relative to the means of their parents, it may be a good investment.
do you mean Steaming piles of cash? :)