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Category — Antitrust/Competition Cases

Blizzard/Vivendi Countersue WowGlider ‘bot Creator

Categories: Antitrust/Competition CasesBotsCheatingCopyright CasesDMCA-TPM CasesGold FarmingHackingTortious InterferenceTrademark CasesUnfair Business Practice Casses

Case Management Summary (March 27, 2007)
Text of Blizzard’s/Vivendi’s Answer & Counterclaim (Feb 16, 2007)
Text of MDY’s (Donnelly’s) Complaint (Oct 25, 2006)

Michael Donnelly created a ‘bot’ program called WowGlider (since renamed to simply “Glider” in response to Blizzard’s trademark complaints) that allows players of the wildly popular World of Warcraft (“WOW”) MMORPG to automate their game play and keep their character “playing” 24/7.

Using this bot the player can continue to level up and harvest gold 24/7 without actually having to play the game – an activity widely considered to be cheating. The use of such “bots” circumvent Blizzard’s security/anti-cheating measures and are prohibited by WOW’s EULA and terms of use.

In the fall of 2006 Blizzard (and its parent Vivendi) demanded Donnelly cease selling the bot. In response, On October 25, 2006 Donnelly’s company MDY filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Arizona seeking a Declaratory Judgment that it is not infringing any rights, copyright or otherwise owned by Blizzard and Vivendi.

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Toys ‘R’ Us Accused of Wii Bundling Bait and Switch on Black Friday

Categories: Antitrust/Competition CasesConsumer Protection CasesUnfair Business Practice Casses

The Better Business Bureau has been asked to look into a possible Chicago area Toy’s ‘R’ Us Bait and Switch operation where a consumer says an Toys ‘R’ Us flyer promoted the Wii for $249 on Black Friday but when the consumer went to purchase one, they were forced to buy additional items or go home empty handed.

Sources: GameDaily.biz | NBC5 | 1Up.com | Kotaku | Next Generation | Joystiq

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Grandma Files FTC Complaint over Wii Bundling

Categories: Antitrust/Competition CasesConsumer Protection Cases

Shelly Peruso reserved two Wii Consoles at a local Pennsylvania Saturday Matinee store on October 13th. She put $100 down on deposit. When she went to pick them up last week the clerk said she must also purchase two games per console. She says she was never told this when she reserved the system.

Dale’s Comment: While I don’t believe she’ll have much success if she were to argue console/game bundling is problematic, she’ll probably have an actionable claim (if it goes that far) on both a basic contract formation and consumer protection basis. If the receipt she received isn’t explicit on the point, the verbal contract should govern.

Sources: GamePolitics.com | WJACTV

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GameDaily.biz Feature: Do Mandatory Console Game Bundles Violate Anti-trust Laws?

Categories: Antitrust/Competition CasesConsumer Protection CasesFeatured Articles

A phenomena of the recent three console launches (Xbox 360, PSP, DS, PS3 and Wii) is the mandatory bundling foisted on gamers by retailers looking to cash in on the extremely high demand for these consoles on launch.

GameDaily.biz has a feature article Predatory Packaging: Are You Being Illegally Forced into Buying a Mega Console Bundle? on this topic is worth a read.

According to Bob Freitas, a technology and antitrust litigator and partner in Orrick’s Silicon Valley office, it’s possible that these bundles could violate certain anti-trust laws, but it’s not highly likely he explained.

Source: GameDaily.biz

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Sony accused of price-fixing in the UK

Categories: Antitrust/Competition Cases

Some European online retailers have filed a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) against Sony’s dual-price practices.

Source: joystiq

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Regulators Approve GameStop, EB Merger

Categories: Antitrust/Competition Cases

Major U.S.-headquartered specialty video game retailers GameStop Corp and Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. have announced that registration documents relating to the merger of the two companies have been approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  GameSpot

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