Overview of Video Game Class Actions:
- Who: Class action lawsuits and settlements have recently implicated a number of video game console companies and mobile game app developers, including Sony, Nintendo, Supercell and Zynga, among others.
- Why: The allegations and settlements involving video game companies and game application developers revolve around allegations of fraudulent marketing, concealment of defects, and violation of national gambling laws.
- Where: Video game class action lawsuits have been filed across the country.
Consumers have recently filed a number of class action lawsuits against video game console companies and game app developers over allegations ranging from false marketing to concealment of defects.
Last month, a consumer accused Sony of hiding a flaw in its PlayStation 5 console that caused it to suddenly crash when playing a video game.
The plaintiff behind the PS5 class action lawsuit argues that Sony violates both federal and state consumer law by claiming knowingly selling defective PS5 consoles.
“Despite its knowledge of the defect in the console, the defendant failed and continues to fail to disclose the defect to consumers before they purchased the PS5, and the defendant took no substantial steps to remedy the problem,” states the console trial.
Sony is aware of the alleged defect through online consumer complaints, warranty service requests and resources located on its own online server, according to the PS5 class action lawsuit.
Amazon, meanwhile, faced a class action lawsuit in June to claim it sold the allegedly faulty PS5 consoles on its Amazon.com online marketplace.
The consumer behind the PS5 class action claims that Amazon is not disclosing to its customers that the consoles allegedly contain a defect that causes them to stop playing while a video game is playing.
“Nowhere did defendant disclose to plaintiff and other purchasers of the PS5 that there is a defect in the console that causes the PS5 to crash and power off,” the console’s lawsuit states.
Like Sony, Amazon is accused of being well aware of the PS5’s alleged flaw due to online consumer complaints and “global acknowledgment of the flaw in the gaming community.”
Meanwhile, in April, two parents argued their children should be able to file a class action lawsuit against Nintendo over allegations that the company’s Switch devices are being sold with faulty controllers that start to malfunction and drift after a period of use.
Parents argued that their minor children should be able to file a lawsuit against Nintendo because, as minors, they are not bound by the same End User License Agreement as an adult.
Nintendo, meanwhile, argues that minors do not have standing to sue since they did not purchase the Switch devices and therefore cannot allege that they suffered recognizable harm.
Mobile game app developers have faced resolved complaints over the past few months
Mobile game app developers have also recently faced class action lawsuits and been embroiled in class action settlements.
In June, a consumer alleged that Supercell Inc., the maker of mobile app games such as Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Brawl Stars, had falsely marketed his game as “free” when he allegedly made billions in dollars from in-game purchases.
A minor plaintiff behind the class action specifically alleges that Supercell unlawfully encourages children to make in-app purchases in-game currency.
“This system was created to capitalize on and encourage addictive behavior,” the Clash of Clans class action lawsuit states. “Minors are particularly susceptible to these addictive game design elements.”
Earlier this month, Zynga agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the developer has engaged in illegal gambling schemes through its mobile slots app games.
The class action settlement funds will go to people who played Zynga’s Black Diamond Casino, Game of Thrones Slots, Wizard of Oz Slots, Willy Wonka Slots and/or Hit it Rich! slot machine games applications.
Consumers alleged that Zynga broke the law because they could no longer play slot app games once they had exhausted their initial “free token” allocation, unless they buy more with real money.
Consumers claim that in-app slot games therefore constitute illegal gambling since, under Washington law, they claim the chips are “things of value.”
SpinX Games, Grande Games and Beijing Bole Technology, meanwhile, agreed to pay $3.5 million last month to resolve allegations that they violated Washington law with their various gaming apps.
The class action settlement was reached for the benefit of eligible consumers who played the Lotsa Slots, Vegas Friends, Jackpot Fever, Cash Bash, Jackpot World, DAFU, Cash Frenzy and Jackpot Mania gaming apps.
Consumers behind the class action lawsuit game developers claim encouraged them to use real money buy in-game currency for the chance to get big wins in casino-type games.
Have you been wronged by a video game console company or mobile app game developer? Let us know in the comments!
Learn more about class actions and class action settlements:
Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a source of legal information that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug-related injury lawsuits, and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not handle claims and we cannot advise you on the status of a class action settlement claim. You should contact the Settlement Administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding the status of your claim, the Claim Form, or questions about when payments should be mailed.