Game Allegedly Tricks Consumers into Buying In-App Offers
Machine Zone Inc. and it’s subsidiary Epic Action, the makers of the Final Fantasy XV mobile game, are facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly tricking players into spending money while playing the game.
One consumer has complained of being induced to spend an estimated $14,500 on the game in the span of four months.
According to the lawsuit, the game makers profit from the game apps through predatory and fraudulent advertising practices and unfair business practices, which violate California business laws.
Read about the case under the name: Christopher East, et al. v. Epic Action LLC, et al., Case No. 5:20-cv-07455, N.D. CA, San Jose Div.
If you are affected by the allegations in this class action lawsuit, contact us today for help.
Exploitative Monetized Game Service
Final Fantasy XV was released in June 2017 and is the mobile version of the popular role-playing, “Japanese anthology science fantasy” action game created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. The game is said to be a “massively multiplayer online role-playing game,” that hosts a multitude of players online in real-time.
The lawsuit alleges that the game makers “introduced into the game an illegal money-making scheme that relies on false and misleading pop-up advertisements, coupled with design elements similar to casino play, to disguise the true cost of the gaming service until players are financially and psychologically invested. Defendants’ advertising and pricing scheme are predatory and unfair, and it harms consumers.”
The game has been downloaded more than 51 million times as of January 2019, grossing more than $165 million in the U.S. and $518 million worldwide, with most of its earnings coming from in-app purchases.
The game is free, however, players are induced to make in-game purchases, or microtransactions, which involve spending real money, usually in small amounts in order to access some features or services of the game, such as enhancements or upgrades. if players do not purchase the upgrades and services, they are unable to advance in the game or are easily defeated by players who have purchased the upgrades.
According to the class action lawsuit, this pay-to-play scheme uses “false and misleading advertising, predatory pricing tactics, and gambling psychology designed to create and reinforce addictive behaviors.”
Boosters and other game enhancers are offered through pop-up graphics that feature “casino-like” bright colors and lights and suspenseful music for $4.99 each and billed as a limited time offer. After the entry-level price, players are offered more enticing game upgrades that often come at higher prices, at $19.99, and then $99.99 or more.
A lot of times the purchases do not actually provide the item or service advertised, which forces players to buy additional packs and upgrades to achieve the items or results.
Machine Zone and Epic Action have been accused of unjust enrichment at the expense of their players, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law, among others.
Editor’s note on the Final Fantasy Class Action Lawsuit:
This piece is written about the recent Final Fantasy XV Lawsuit. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in the Final Fantasy XV class action lawsuit has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join the consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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