2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, is facing a class action lawsuit for its use of non-transferrable virtual currency (VC) in its video games. The lawsuit, which was filed in California federal court, alleges that the defendants’ practices are deceptive and unfair and that they have resulted in gamers losing money that they have spent on VC.
The lawsuit alleges that 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software knowingly and intentionally removed VC from gamers’ accounts when they retired older versions of games. This means that gamers who have purchased VC with real money can lose access to it if they continue to play newer versions of the games.
I’ve read it, and the plaintiff makes a really good point. It had me questioning why VC doesn’t transfer over to other games in the same series. It also makes me question why you can’t “cash out” and get the cash equivalent to how much VC you have left. However, it’s written with a lot of legal jargon, so we’ll focus on the parts that relate directly to what the plaintiff is saying.
“In tandem with retiring an older version of a game, 2K Games also needlessly removes any VC remaining in all gamer accounts for that game. Gamers’ accounts immediately fall to a zero VC balance the instant the server is disconnected. The VC they own cannot be carried over to the next version of the game or transferred to other games. Gamers may have hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of VC in their accounts. It makes no difference.”CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT FOR
DAMAGES AND DEMAND FOR JURY
If 2K does remove the VC when an older game is retired, it is a big issue. They should already have something in place for players to keep their currency. This is like a casino making a new machine and then taking away your chips just because. We can’t say that 2K never had anything in mind to give the money back, and this may be something that’s on the road, so we’re not going to say that this is definitely what’s happening.
The plaintiffs also allege that the defendants target children with their marketing and in-game promotions, encouraging them to spend money on VC. This practice, according to the lawsuit, is particularly harmful because children are more likely than adults to be unaware of the risks associated with spending money on virtual goods.
If it’s true, there is no way that would slide anywhere else, and I’m surprised 2K hasn’t already made changes to avoid lawsuits. As we stated in a previous article, kids tend to like virtual currency and subscriptions. The plaintiffs are seeking damages for the VC that has been removed from their accounts, as well as injunctive relief to prevent the defendants from continuing their practices.