Chronicles of Elyria Backers Find Lawyer For Class Action

Action of the class variety.

Continue reading “Chronicles of Elyria Backers Find Lawyer For Class Action”

IPE Update: ArcheAge Settlement Terms Emerge With $420k Payout

With the motion for final approval of settlement details scheduled for April 17, it will have been four and a half years since the lawsuit over ArcheAge’s launch and boy has a lot happened in that time frame including the death of Trion Worlds as a corporate entity. Back in August we talked about how the lawsuit was finally coming to a close, owing mostly to the fact that the defense was being funded by the liability pool of Trion’s insurance company which would also be handling the payout, meaning the longer the lawsuit went without agreement on a settlement the less money would actually be available for the aggrieved parties.

Trion’s insurer has set aside an amount that while high isn’t exactly great. $420 grand for parties to make claims. You have until March 13, 2020 to make a claim, do nothing, opt out of the settlement, or object to the terms. Thankfully you don’t even have to do any receipt checking, as the website will let you submit your username or email associated with the Trion Worlds account and will calculate your eligible credits directly.

Payout of course is tied to the number of people submitting claims, so the more people who claim the lesser the individual payout will be. We’ll check in when the settlement is approved and payouts start going out to see what kind of compensation people are receiving.

Source: ArcheAge Settlement via MassivelyOP

IPE (Minor) Update: Trion Worlds Lawsuit As Of January 30, 2019

I’ve been holding off on the Trion Worlds lawsuit coverage for the simple fact that not a whole lot has been happening over the past couple of months, at least nothing of major significance. Right now the case is getting to the end of discovery, this is the portion of the lawsuit where the parties finish up requesting and handing over documents that will be used in the coming trial. To spare you the reader from boredom, I have kindly summarized the last few case management conferences into one sentence: “Information was requested, other information may be requested, we will let you know at the next conference, and class action status is still pending.”

You’re welcome. Now on with the meat of the latest filings:

The Asset Transfer, Or, A New Defendant

If you’ve been keeping up with the ongoing story of Trion Worlds, you’ll know that the company is virtually nonexistent at this point. Last October, Trion transferred its assets and property to Trion Worlds LLC, which subsequently sold said assets to Gamigo. Trion Worlds LLC was issued a subpoena to produce information regarding the transaction and has since turned over an Asset Purchase Agreement and related documents.

The documents have shined light on another entity that may currently possess Trion assets: Golden Gate Games Inc. The plaintiffs not only intend to serve Golden Gate Games with documents and deposition subpoenas, but also have noted their intent to investigate whether individual officers/owners of Trion may be liable to plaintiffs and the proposed class action lawsuit as part of the asset transfer. The document also notes that plaintiffs have been unable to serve Gamigo with subpoenas.

As far as Trion Worlds is concerned, all non-privileged responsive documents have been produced. Trion has not sought any discovery information from the Plaintiffs according to court filings.

What Are We Waiting For?

For the moment, we are waiting to see whether the plaintiffs in the case will be adding an additional party or parties to the defense which will be known within the next two months. The next case management conference is not set until March 15, during which the parties will discuss the ongoing motion to certify the lawsuit for class action status. A request to compel documents pertaining to ArcheAge’s financial information has been deferred for the time being as unnecessary for class certification, however there is the possibility that we will be made privy to the details of Trion’s asset sale to Gamigo at some point in this lawsuit.

Again, there hasn’t been much development over the past two months, and there won’t be for another couple of months to come.

As always, the documents related to the case have been made available on the MMO Fallout Google Drive folder for your use.

IPE Update: Trion Worlds Overruled, Receives Warning Over Procedural Violations

Who would have thought we’d be talking about Trion Worlds using incorrect font sizes?

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for an update on the case of Van Fleet v Trion Worlds, an active lawsuit in San Mateo County Court that seeks class action status regarding two major offenses: That Trion Worlds misled customers by offering a 10% discount and then did not follow through, and the question on whether or not lockboxes in ArcheAge constitute an illegal lottery.

If you need more backstory, go here. For the rest, let’s move on.

You may recall in the last episode of In Plain English, Trion Worlds had filed a demurrer (that’s a motion to dismiss) against the claims of illegal lottery and notably not the claims of misleading advertising, with a court hearing scheduled for August 23. The notes from the hearing have just become available, so let’s go through them.

To keep the story short, both demurrers filed by Trion Worlds on the basis of standing and failing to allege facts have been overruled by the court. The real meat and potatoes of this story resides in the fact that Judge Weiner had some comments regarding improper procedure by Trion Worlds lawyers.

The judge accuses Trion’s lawyers of skirting statutory page limitations via over-use of footnotes, and that the footnotes were not in 12-point font as required by law. It may seem like a small error from the outside looking in, but the courts take these procedures seriously enough that Judge Weiner threatened to strike down future briefs that do not adhere to procedural statutory laws.

Judge Weiner went even further by striking Trion’s evidence as being improperly submitted. Trion Worlds submitted with its demurrer screenshots and information from ArcheAge, and did not formally request judicial notice. Trion’s request for judicial notice regarding its End User License Agreement was denied.

“Judicial notice is a rule in the law of evidence that allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known, or so authoritatively attested, that it cannot reasonably be doubted. This is done upon the request of the party seeking to rely on the fact at issue.”

In its pleadings, Trion also attempted to convert the demurrer (motion to dismiss) into a summary adjudication, essentially asking the judge to make a ruling without going to trial. The court declined to do so.

So where do we stand now? Trion Worlds has until September 17 to file its answer to the First Amended Complaint, after which a Case Management Conference will be held on October 26 where the parties will discuss status of discovery, status of settlement or mediation, any other possible motions, as well as the date of the following CMC, plus any other matters pertinent to the case.

Parties will also discuss the status of the lawsuit class action certification, including any further research needed to support or deny such a claim.

I have uploaded a copy of the Case Management Order to the MMO Fallout Google Drive, linked below.

(Source: Docket)

IPE Update: Class Action Lawsuit v. Trion Worlds Responds To Amended Complaint

It’s been quite a while since we last checked in on the ArcheAge class action lawsuit, so I figured we’d go ahead and see if anything has changed over the past few months.

First, a recap for those keeping score. Back in what feels like the far flung past of September 2015, two individuals by the names of Aaron Van Fleet and Paul Ovberg launched a lawsuit against Trion Worlds regarding ArcheAge. It’s probably irrelevant to most readers, but noteworthy that they didn’t “launch” a class action lawsuit but filed a lawsuit and are seeking class action status that won’t be ruled on until 2019, just an oversight that a lot of people (including myself) probably haven’t made clear.

The plaintiffs were willing to admit under oath that they had purchased the $149.99 collector’s edition of ArcheAge, and are now suing for a myriad of reasons including the infamous 10% discount and allegations that ArcheAge’s lootbox system violates California law on illegal lotteries.

In my initial discussion on the lawsuit, I noted my doubts that the lottery claims would hold up and that the plaintiffs might be damaging their case by including their exhibit A (and only exhibit) as 50 pages of random players complaining in the forums about loot boxes. Trion Worlds attempted to have the lawsuit moved to arbitration and lost, appealed their case to the First District Court of Appeals…and also lost there. Then the lawsuit went back to the San Mateo County Court and the plaintiffs were given an opportunity to file an amended complaint.

Well they’ve filed their amended complaint and of all that has changed, well, there isn’t much of it. James Longfield has been named as a plaintiff, the screenshots are of much higher quality in the copy available on the court’s website. Apart from one sentence that is changed from present tense to past tense, this is exactly the same complaint, word for word. Nothing outside of the addition of a new plaintiff has been amended in this amended complaint.

Which means that the lawsuit’s pitfalls are still there. The plaintiffs make virtually no attempt to show how Trion’s loot boxes violate the lottery penal code, nor does it actually explain the penal code in any real capacity, an oversight to be sure since it’s basically a large portion of the lawsuit. As far as I could find in the docket, they didn’t even bother citing the penal code that they are attempting to prove violation of. I noted the California lottery penal code in my previous article, the plaintiff apparently didn’t bother and still has not done so. There is also the matter of the 50 pages of forum complaints that are hardly relevant to the case at hand and basically come down to players musing the idea that “this is probably illegal because I don’t like it.”

Trion Worlds has filed a demurer, an objection that questions the validity of the plaintiff’s claims, and unsurprisingly it mostly targets the question of the illegal lottery claim. The demurer mostly attacks on the basis that items obtained in ArcheAge have no measurable value, and thus can not be covered by the penal code definition of property. In addition, Trion argues against the idea that the plaintiffs can claim that they lost money or property, as they exchanged real money for digital goods and received exactly what they paid for. Finally they attacked the lottery on the same merits that I did, that the plaintiffs didn’t really bother staking a claim on the rules of the penal code or how Trion even allegedly violated them.

Notably absent from Trion’s demurer is commentary in relation to whether or not the 10% discount offer change constituted misleading advertising, but presumably the demurer is to carve up the lawsuit and get rid of the extra fat so that the main points of contention can be handled either during the trial phase or in a supplementary demurer. Considering this lawsuit has now gone on for three years and has rulings and applications for various statuses dated for early to mid 2019, I’m sure Trion is just trying to bring this closer to some kind of resolution.

I have included a link to the docket down below, thankfully San Mateo’s county court allows you to view their dockets at no cost. MMO Fallout will continue covering this lawsuit when any noteworthy events happen.

(Source: San Mateo Docket)

Class Action Lawsuit Against Blizzard Over Account Security

Blizzard is on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit over the company’s account security. The lawsuit, filed against the Santa-Monica developer, states that Blizzard deceptively and unfairly charged customers for extra security devices (authenticators), pulling in $26 million while failing to provide adequate security for people who were not willing to pay an “undisclosed fee.” The lawsuit cites countless accounts that have been breached due to Blizzard’s inadequate security, and seeks to bar Blizzard from “tacking on undisclosed fees,” and from requiring users to sign up for

 “Most recently, on or about May 19, 2012, reports proliferated that class members’ accounts had suffered a security breach (‘hack’) at the hands of unknown parties (‘hackers’), and on or about August 4, 2012, hackers massively breached’s security and acquired the private information of all of defendants’ customers in the United States, as well as the remainder of North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.”

Judging by how other class actions end up, players who purchased the authenticator can likely look forward to a $.50 credit coming to their account somewhere between 2015-2016.

(Source: Courthouse News)

EA Employees Gear Up For Class Action Lawsuit

Electronic Arts has had its fair share of bad news just here at MMO Fallout. Warhammer Online and All Points Bulletin launched and subsequently took a jackhammer to the publisher’s relationship with its investors and partners, and the recent release of The Old Republic was met with major initial sales and just as much controversy over broken content, bannings, and more.

To top things off, Electronic Arts’ employees may be setting up for a class action lawsuit. According to an employee spouse on Gamespot, Electronic Arts currently mandates shifts of 9am to 10pm, seven days a week with occasional Saturdays off. In return, employees are given no overtime or vacation days for this work.

Unlike EAlouse, this isn’t just the ranting of some alleged employee. Gamespot contacted Schubert & Reed, a San Francisco law firm, who confirmed that preparations are in place for a class action suit.

“We are seeking unpaid overtime for a good number of EA employees who weren’t [properly] paid, EA contends they were exempt,” and Schubert added that “we contend otherwise.”‘

No doubt more to come.

(Source: Gather Your Party)

%d bloggers like this: