Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Electronic Arts Faces Gamer’s Class Action

BROOKLYN (CN) - Electronic Arts sells online games and then kills them before its customers are tired of playing them, an unhappy gamer claims in a federal class action.

Justin Bassett claims he bought several sports-themed games for Xbox 360 for about $59.99 each, relying on Electronic Arts' representation that the games were enabled for unlimited, online play. But the games were available for only a limited time, he says.

"Had plaintiff known at the time that he would not be able to play the products online for a certain amount of time, he would not have purchased the products or paid the price he paid for the products," Bassett claims.

Bassett's lawsuit cites games that include FIFA Soccer 2011 for PCs and video game consoles for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360; EA [Electronic Arts] Sports Madden NFL 10 for Xbox 360; EA Sports NCAA Football 10; EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour; EA Sports NHL 09; EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09; and EA Sports NHL 08.

Electronic Arts claims that 5 million people a day have used its Internet servers since 2010.

"Despite knowing that it did not intend to allocate resources for online play for the

Products indefinitely or for a reasonable time from the release date, EA engaged in a widespread marketing and advertising campaign to portray the products as being for indefinite online play or, at a minimum, a reasonable time from the release date," Bassett says in the complaint.

"Defendant engaged in this misleading and deceptive campaign to charge a premium for the products and take away market share from other similar products. ...

"(S)uch representations and the widespread marketing campaign portraying the products as being enabled for online play indefinitely - or, at a minimum, a reasonable time from the release date - are misleading and deceptive to consumers because EA only provided online support for the products for a limited time.

"Consumers frequently rely on labels in making purchase decisions. Here, plaintiff and the other class members reasonably relied to their detriment on defendant's misleading representations and omissions. Defendant's misleading affirmative statements about the capability of online play for the products obscured the material fact that defendant failed to disclose about the limited nature of its online support for the products.

Bennett seeks compensatory, statutory and punitive damages for consumer law violations, false advertising, unfair competition, and breach of warranty,

He is represented by Michael R. Reese with Reese Richman, of Manhattan.

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