Video game producers Take-Two Interactive and 2K Games have pushed back against a lawsuit that virtual currencies effectively steal money from players.
A lawsuit was filed in November by a California minor, and his mother claims that Take-Two is guilty of unfair business practices and civil theft for shutting down servers for several NBA 2K, WWE 2K, and PGA Tour 2K titles. This caused players to lose access to in-game funds they had paid for with actual funds.
Take-Two has denied this class action lawsuit, stating that virtual currencies within games are “fictions created by game publishers.” The video game company has hired a legal team, with the aim of getting the case dismissed.
“VC [virtual currency] is not plaintiff’s property,” a Take-Two lawyer stated this week, reported Game File. “Instead, in-game VCs are fictions created by game publishers, subject to the publishers’ terms of service and user agreements.”
Take-Two has requested for the case to be dismissed, highlighting clauses in each of its games’ EULA documents (End User License Agreements) that state players also have only a “limited right and license” to virtual currency that Take-Two can choose to “suspend” or “eliminate… as it sees fit.” This wording is standard across most EULAs, and this case is a good reminder of why gamers shouldn’t bank too much money as a virtual currency at once.
Next steps for the lawsuit
Nonetheless, the original lawsuit will maintain its claims that keeping virtual currency is “unfair, illegal and greedy.” It calls for Take-Two to release refunds to players for any unspent funds if servers are shut down. It’s not been confirmed how many players have been affected by the most recent server shutdown.
Whether the case will be dismissed or allowed to continue in March will be decided. If allowed to continue, a second court date will be set at this time.
Featured image: 2K Games