Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class Action Suits

November 24, 2009 -

Joystiq’s latest Law of the Game column takes a look at the intertwinement of professional plaintiffs and class action suits.

The article was written in response to a pair of recent news stories: a possible class action suit against Microsoft over Xbox Live bannings and Erik Estavillo, the banned Resistance: Fall of Man player, whose latest lawsuit targets Microsoft and Nintendo.

Author Mark Methenitis denotes a professional plaintiff as someone whose livelihood depends on suing people. He adds that plaintiffs who are gamers are more prone to demonstrate similar standing, versus attaching their suit to a statute, making them a perfect entry point to class action litigation.

Of course, class action lawsuits “tend to be larger and thereby more profitable, especially to a law firm on a contingency fee basis.”

Methenitis thinks it “unlikely” that we will see fewer lawsuits as time progresses, but tells us not to worry too much about game industry companies that are targeted, as they “have substantial legal teams to deal with these kinds of suits.”

He finishes:

What should concern consumers would be a series of victories against gaming companies. If plaintiffs are successful, then there are two potentially larger problems facing the industry: are companies becoming more dishonest and predatory, and should we be concerned about the continued viability of those studios with substantial legal settlements against them?


Comments

Re: Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class ...

At least there is good legal teams that can go against idiots that want to sue like crazy. :)

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class ...

The thing about many of these suits, boycotts, or threats against game companies is that they are tinged with a sense of entitlement in regards to an entertainment product.  Too many people think the world "owes" them something.

Re: Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class ...

Many products have a manufactuers warranty on them for a reason, and it is not uncommon for them to be taken to court for lemons that they will not refund the buyer for (Barring as is sales). 

Also when a subscription is cancled by an individual or a company, it is only right that they get the money they invested into it back. 

This is not thinking that the world owes you, this is getting what you spent your hard earned money on.  There is a difference between the two.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class ...

In some respects, at least in a legal sense, it does owe them something. For example, you've the right to purchase a product free from manufacturing defects and a right to recourse and remedy against the manufacturer if they in fact sell you a defective product. That the product is intended to provide entertainment doesn't in any way diminish your entitlements.

Re: Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class ...

[S]hould we be concerned about the continued viability of those studios with substantial legal settlements against them?

Hell, no. That's just the price they have to pay for being on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

And I don't know of too many plaintiffs who strike it rich from being members of a class action. One of the determinative factors in certifying a class of plaintiffs is that their individual claims are too piddly to make much economic sense in requiring that they bring them on an individual basis and therefore they need to pool their injuries into a class. The attorney for the class may make bank, but the individual class members usually don't end up with much to show for being a class action plaintiff. If they're making a profession out of it, then they usually ain't getting paid much better than minimum wage. And that's before they have to fork over the 30-40% contingency fee to their attorney. 

 
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Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
WonderkarpSo Sony cancelled the release of the Interview. was it ever confirmed that the Sony hacking was done because of that specific movie?12/17/2014 - 8:54pm
MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
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PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
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E. Zachary KnightA Game being on Greenlight is not an endorsement of said game by Valve, Steam or anyone related to Valve or Steam. Greenlight is a combined sales pitch to Steam and its users.12/17/2014 - 9:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe Life cycle of a Greenlight game: A game gets made->Developer puts it on Greenlight->Gamers vote for it->Valve decides it is worthy of a Steam release->Game is sold on Steam. While the game is merely on greenlight, it is not available for sale on Steam12/17/2014 - 9:50am
InfophileGreenlight games may in the future be sold through Steam. A game there may be "greenlit" and then sold on Steam proper, or it may not, and never actually be sold on steam. That quote refers to them selecting some games from Greenlight which they will sell12/17/2014 - 9:39am
MechaTama31"Today we’ve Greenlit another batch of 50 titles to advance through Steam Greenlight, and be offered worldwide distribution via Steam." Am I missing something here? Because it sounds like Greenlight games are sold through Steam.12/17/2014 - 9:00am
 

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