Attorneys are investigating a possible lawsuit against the makers of certain online games alleging they misled players—including adults and minors—into purchasing in-game items, sometimes known as loot boxes, that were functionally useless but marketed with misleading claims.
In fact, the probability of receiving such items may have been overstated, encouraging players to spend money on video game loot boxes that may not have had the items advertised.
If these companies misled players into buying loot boxes, it is vital they be held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, if these companies allowed minors to make purchases and refused to provide a refund of the loot box prices, they may have violated California law.
Loot Box Purchases
Specifically, lawyers at Cutter Law are investigating gaming companies that offer online game micro-purchases of beneficial items such as loot boxes, though they may also called something different depending on the game being played. The gaming companies offer these loot boxes in games at a cost and may have advertised that a certain percentage of the loot boxes have valuable components that will help the player complete the game, when in fact very few of the boxes contain the valuable components.
In other words, players buy these packs believing there is a good chance of obtaining highly-sought after items when in reality the odds of opening a loot box and finding those items could be much lower, possibly as low as one percent. After the loot box purchase, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain a refund for the price.
For example, players might have been encouraged to buy Overwatch loot boxes thinking they had a high probability of receiving valuable items to help them in the game only to discover very few Overwatch loot boxes had the items they needed.
Games under investigation include:
If you or your child play such games, a quick review of the game account or a review of your credit card or bank statement will help determine if you paid for the online gaming items in question.
Loot Boxes for Gamers
You may have made in-game purchases believing the money you spent would help you as you played the game. If the gaming company misled you about the probability the items you purchased would be highly-sought after items, you may be eligible to join a lawsuit against the gaming companies.
Loot Boxes for Parents
Under California law, any purchase by a minor must include the opportunity for the minor or the parent to receive a refund for that transaction. It is a violation of California law to say that there are no refunds permitted in situations where a minor under the age of 17 has made a purchase.
If you live in California and your child has made in-game loot box purchases or purchased other packs that were supposed to be beneficial to their progress in the past four years, you may be eligible to join a lawsuit against the companies that develop and market the games. You may be eligible regardless of whether or not you attempted to obtain a refund for the purchase.
Attorneys at Cutter Law are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers who have been subject to false or misleading advertising. We have extensive experience advocating for adult and minor consumers, to ensure companies uphold California consumer law.
Our firm successfully prosecuted a class action against Facebook on behalf of children and parents to force Facebook to comply with California law in providing refunds to minors for online purchases.
Gaming companies reportedly make much if not all of their profits off loot box sales. They have a responsibility to accurately represent the possibility of opening a loot box and obtaining certain items.
If you or your child purchased online game items that were marketed as being beneficial, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the makers of these games. We are investigating a possible lawsuit on behalf of California consumers who were misled by gaming companies into purchasing a loot box or other beneficial item.