Consumer Class-Action Suit Targets Final Fantasy XI

A class action lawsuit has been brought against Square Enix of America alleging unfair business practices, false advertising and unjust enrichment with regard to their long running MMORPG Final Fantasy XI.

In the suit, lead plaintiff Esther Leong of San Francisco claims that Square Enix deceived more than 100,000 customers about the game’s monthly fees, penalties and restrictions. The suit seeks damages of $5 million. The nasty business which Leong charges that Square Enix engaged in includes:

  • Licensing of online game software disguised as a sale
  • Monthly fees to play the game
  • Penalties for late payment of fees
  • Interest charges for late payment of fees
  • Charges while the user’s acccount is suspended
  • Termination of right to play for late payment of fees
  • User restrictions and conditions related to the game
  • Termination of game data for late payment of fees

Unfortunately, specific details of how Square Enix allegedly screwed its customers are not specified in the complaint. 1UP points out that the FFXI website lists a $12.95 monthly fee to play

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the lawsuit here.

Doug Buffone, Entertainment Consumers Association intern

Via: Courthouse News Service

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    F3nris says:

    Something to consider, as to why FFXI has late fees.


    FFXI makes you pay at the end of the month, like a phone bill.

    Use month of service -> Pay by the first of next month.


    If you dont pay by the first on the next month, you have a late fee, just paid one lol, changing banks.


    Other MMO, you prepay, with gamecards and such, where FFXI bills like cable or phone bills

  2. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Unless you fail to disclose or otherwise misrepresent the fact that late fees could be imposed. Or charge dispportionately excessive late fees. Or disguise what are really interest charges as late fees (assuming you aren’t qualified by law to charge interest).

  3. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    That’s 100,000 masochists who still believe they need to keep registering to keep your toon because Playonline claims like SOE used to that no server could handle it lol

  4. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’ve never claimed wrong-doing. As I pointed out to you before, I don’t know if plaintiffs’ allegations of wrong-doing are true. I’ve only pointed out the possible scenarios under which plaintiffs’ claims of false advertising and unfair trade practice could be true. If anyone’s been claiming anything, it’s you who have been claiming the impossibilty of wrong-doing on the part of Square Enix. And, frankly and as far as I am concerned, doing a piss-poor job of substantiating that claim.

  5. 0
    F3nris says:

    That they dont have to prove themselves innocent of false advertisement, the plaintiff does.

    Change prosecutuiors or plaintiff, either way, the defendant doesnt have to prove their own innocence.


    so if you claim wrong doing, prove it

  6. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Do you understand that those terms only apply to criminal cases? Do you understand that Square Enix is the defendant in a civil case, not a criminal case? What’s your point, pray tell?

  7. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’ll wait until you prove yourself right before I try to prove you wrong. Unless and until you have searched every advertisement that Square Enix has published in the last four years, you can’t even begin to credibly state that nowhere in Square Enix’s advertising does it state . . . whatever. You have no way of knowing beyond a doubt what all their advertising says unless and until you’ve reviewed all their advertising. You looked in some places and didn’t find anything. Great. But that doesn’t at all mean that what you looked for doesn’t exist anywhere. Which is what you were claiming. That it doesn’t exist anywhere. In your own words: There isnt anywhere that is says there is no monthly fee.

    If what you meant to say was, "There isn’t anything in the very limit places that I have looked where it says that there there is no monthly fee," then fine. But the fact would still remain that you haven’t looked everywhere. The only difference is that you wouldn’t be forcing me to point that fact out to you.  

  8. 0
    F3nris says:

    no, but i did look at every package, i watched the commercails on youtube, i looked at the original print add for the game, i still had tucked into the case. looked up their banner adds from the last 3 months.


    Before you open your mouth to sound like a dick, how about you try looking. Find ANY add that they have posted that doesnt talk about their monthly fee and come back and try agian.


    I didnt see EVERY ADD EVER like you seem to think i said, but i said the places i looked and found no lack of mention.

    So, rather than trying to stroke your epeen, prove me wrong.

  9. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Nowhere does it mention that there wont be fees. TV adds, banner adds, and their own website all list the price per month. I have done this legwork and found not a single add or mention anywhere that says there is no monthly fee. . . . There isnt anywhere that is says there is no monthly fee. 

    Yeah. Right. O.K. You searched the entire universe of advertising published by Square Enix about Final Fanasty in the last four years. Every single television or radio commercial ever aired. Every single advertisement ever printed in any and all magazines. Every advertisement ever placed on any Internet website. Every poster ever hung at Gamestop or any other game retailer. Every piece of promotional material ever distributed at any gamer convention. Anywhere and everywhere that advertising by Square Enix about Final Fantasy in the last four years could possibly exist. The entire possible universe of advertising. Yeah. Right. O.K.

    Three years ago, I lost a $20 bill through a hole in my pocket. I have no idea where it could have fell. Think you can use your Superman-like search powers to help me find it? I’ll split it with you. That’s ten bucks.


  10. 0
    F3nris says:

    I understand your point fully, but as i have been trying to say, i just went through the whole process for a friend of my who just started FFXI on the 360. 

    Nowhere does it mention that there wont be fees. TV adds, banner adds, and their own website all list the price per month.  I have done this legwork and found not a single add or mention anywhere that says there is no monthly fee.


    I understand if they said anywhere it is still false advertising. Yes, i get it.

    Yes if they gladly pay you tuseday for a hamburger today they must be Wimpy.

    Like i said before.

    There isnt anywhere that is says there is no monthly fee. 

    –> IF <–

    You can find anything that disagrees with this, please feel free to post it.

    Until then, my statment stands, that the monthly fee has been advertised and is no surprise to anyone who purchased the game.

  11. 0
    F3nris says:

    WoW being better is a statement of personal preference.


    Calling people who still play FFXI, or even people who play both idiots for doing so is just plain ignorant.

    Rather than try to prove the merit or worth of either one, i will just ask you to not be rude.

  12. 0
    JDKJ says:

    The law of false advertising doesn’t require an explicit contradiction of the statements on the box or a statement that it was F2P. Just a false statement sufficient for the Plaintiffs to form the belief that it was F2P. And I assume that Plaintiffs’ theory of the case involves some sort of deception on the part of Square Enix which lead them to form that belief. If their theory doesn’t involve such a deception, then they don’t have a case. 

  13. 0
    TK n Happy Ness says:

    These are the 100,000 idiots who are still playing FFXI online when everybody else is playing the much better WoW or other non-MMO FF games.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  14. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    No, I mean that, unless said advertisements explicitly contradicted the box and said that it was F2P, they can’t be held liable for false advertising because it says on the box there is a fee.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  15. 0
    JDKJ says:


    I’m about ready to give up on repeating the same thing to you over and over and over and over again because you obviously ain’t hearing me. I’m rapidly approaching the point where you leave me to wonder if you ain’t hearing what I’m telling you because: (a) you ain’t too good at listening or (b) you’ve got fanboy wax build-up in your ears. But let me try just one more time:

    It doesn’t matter what the box says about the deal if somewhere else something contradictory was said about the deal. Think of it this way: If you tell a lie on Monday but then tell the truth on Tuesday, as far as the law of false advertising is concerned, you’re still a liar. The law doesn’t care that you told the truth on Tuesday. As far as the law is concerned, that doesn’t forgive the lie you told on Monday. You’re still on the hook for telling Monday’s lie. Take a second and think about this before you spend time thinking up a come back in defense of Square Enix.  

  16. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    It doesn’t work like that.

    Very few places can send a repo man and that is only after a Judge’s ruling so it’s not like a surprise. The FDCPA protects debtors from certain threats and actions. If a company wants to get some of your pay or items they need to go before a Judge.

    Typically debt is sent to collections and just because you have debt doesn’t mean it affects your credit score.

    For example if you go into the red with your bank account and don’t pay back the fees and such it will not ding your credit even after going to collections and that’s mainly because banks do not report to the Credit Bureau they report to Check Systems which means you can lose the ability to hold a Checking or Saving Account in the United States which forces you to go to a Credit Union and use that as a bank account.

    Also noting, if a Creditor ever tells you that your bank reports to the Credit Bureau they are either misinformed or purposely misleading you to pay your debt which is a violation of the FDCPA.

    Even if you owe someone money or they think you owe that company money, you still have rights and the FDCPA protects you. So again, just because a company’s Terms of Use says one thing doesn’t mean its binding or it can violate your rights. Businesses who acts like they are a Final Fantasy or Gaming Forum owners deserves to be sued.

  17. 0
    F3nris says:

    @ Lumi — This is a Square Enix game not blizz lol


    @ JDKJ On every single package for the game, the monthly fees are listed, before you can start to play the game, it asks if you agree to the charges.  I even dug out one of the boxes for the expansion packs, and it lists the monthly fees on that box too, in nice bold type.  This being the case, how could they falsely advertise what is plainly on the package?


    In this case, id like to sue Chex mix. When i bought it i expected X ounces of chex cerial mixed with seasonings, but inside the package i found pretzels and melba toast. This product has falsely advertised itself and i want money.

    Even though the package clearly states that it contains these other items.

  18. 0
    JDKJ says:


    And I have said that as long as an advertiser falsely says one time, in one place, "This is not X," it doesn’t matter that they also truthfully say a thousand times in a thousand other places, "This is X." The mere fact of falsely saying one time that "This is not X" is sufficient to constitute a case of false advertising. So, as long as there was even a single occurence of Square falsely describing the nature of the transaction or the product, it doesn’t matter if there are a million other times and places where it truthfully described the nature of its product and/or the transaction. Square would still be guilty of false advertising.


    While I agree that none of us knows the precise details of the deception by which Leong claims to have been decieved about the transaction (Leong certainly hasn’t shared those details in her Complaint) and not to say that it is impossible that sale representatives were somehow disguising the nature of the transaction at the point of sale, for your theory to be correct and support Leong’s claim, it would mean that the seller instituted a systematic and long-standing policy of deception by sale representatives such that, as Leong claims, 100,000 subscribers were thereby deceived over a four-year period. Possible? Certainly. Likely? I’m not so sure.  

  19. 0
    lumi says:

    I love how everyone here is so sure what happened even though NONE of us were around at the point of sale.  We have no idea what any Blizz sales rep actually said about the fee structure for the game when it was sold to her.

  20. 0
    F3nris says:

    and i have said, and pointed to evidance that proves that they express the existance of monthly fees all over the place, on every box the software comes in, before you can activate the account, and on their website.


    They in no way failed to express the fact that there were monthly fees.


    There is no ‘if they didnt express’ because they did express.

  21. 0
    JDKJ says:

    That you believe the only way to falsely advertise the nature of a product is to explicitly say something false about the product’s nature suggests to me that your knowledge of the law of false advertising isn’t exactly well-sounded. The failure to state information known to the seller about a product’s nature which is critical to the buyer’s understanding of the product’s nature can also be false advertising. It can also be an unfair trade practice (another cause of action alleged in Leong’s complaint). Similarly, and as I’ve said for maybe the sixth time now, if the seller made false statements about the nature of the transaction it was proposing, e.g., stating that a licensing agreement is an outright sale, the buyer is automatically mislead to believe that there are no monthly usage fee involved when they are mislead to believe that they are purchasing the product outright. Even though the seller has not said one false word about monthly usage fees. The belief that there are no monthly usage fees follows naturally from the belief (based on the falsely advertised transaction) that the buyer is a purchaser, not a licensee.

  22. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    The only way there could be false advertising in relation to a subscription is if they explicitly said there weren’t, which they never did.  At some point, the plaintiff is going to have to produce something where Square says there was, in fact, no subscription fee.  If such a piece existed, this would have happened a long, LONG time ago.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  23. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Why do you think that "[t]he box and the material inside are the be-all, end-all of the advertisements?" Torven seems to be under the impression that there were also television advertisements for the product. And I’d be thoroughly surprised if there weren’t also print advertisements. When you say the box and the material inside are the "be-all, end-all" of the advertisements, do you mean that these are the only advertisements which were ever published? Or are you suggesting the more ridiculous notion that statements contained on the box and in the material inside the box somehow trump all other statements made in any and all other advertising?  

  24. 0
    JDKJ says:


    The mere presence of truthful advertising doesn’t negate the possibility of false advertising. Only the complete absence of false advertising negates the possibility of false advertising.


    Keep right on leap-frogging from point to point. Who knows? You may eventually land on a point that actually makes some sense or bears some relevance. But for right now, you need to keep on leap-frogging.

  25. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth…hands…keyboard…whatever, you know what I mean!


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  26. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Wrong, but not illegal in any way.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  27. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Which would only be possible if she never looked at any advertisements and never, EVER read the box or game disc.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  28. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    It says you need a subscription on the fucking box.  The box and the material inside are the be-all, end-all of the advertisements, and the box itself can be looked at before purchase.  The manual can be looked at online without even going to the store.  Because of this, as long as they didn’t say that no subscription fee was requred, it is not a case of false advertising.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  29. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’ve always thought that the use of bullets was invented as a crutch for those who are too lazy to thoroughly read a body of regular appearing text. From the article (immediately above the bullets):

    "Esther Leong of San Francisco claims that Square Enix deceived more than 100,000 customers about the game’s monthly fees"

    She’s claiming she was deceived about the monthly fees. "DECEIVED." As in tricked, hood-winked, bamboozled, etc., etc. 

  30. 0
    Torven says:

    I don’t believe that is the case here, though I almost wish it was; I would love to see someone make the argument that a reasonable person would conclude an MMORPG did not have monthly fees.  Not because I think it would succeed or fail, but because I would love to see the rage of the neckbeards at someone arguing their view of the situation was not that of a reasonable person. =P

  31. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I kinda knew you weren’t going to get it.

    They aren’t suing merely because the game had monthly fees. They’re suing because, as they allege, they got tricked into having to pay those monthly fees when they bought what has turned out to be a license to use the software under the mistaken assumption (caused by the disguising of the transaction as a sale) that they bought the software outright. 

    And all it takes to start a class is one plaintiff (the so-called "lead plaintiff") who sues on their own behalf and on behalf of all other plaintiffs with a similar injury. Once suit has been filed, then the other plaintiffs who wish to join the class may do so. That’s how all class actions work.

    And she (not "he" — unless some cruel parent named their boy-child "Esther") is not suing for $5 million solely for herself. That figure represents an estimate of the financial injury in the form of fees, late charges, re-activation charges, etc., etc., which each plaintiff in the class has allegedly suffered, multiplied by the estimated number of plaintiffs who will ultimately join the class. This in no way means that $5 million is what the plaintiffs will ultimately receive if they prevail. The actual amount of money damages awarded if plaintiffs prevail will be determined by the actual financial damages proved by the lead plaintiff, averaged and multiplied by the actual number of plaintiffs who ultimately join the class. 

  32. 0
    F3nris says:


    • Licensing of online game software disguised as a sale
    • Monthly fees to play the game



    These are the first 2 bullet points and the ones spoken most about in the document dump.

    Knowing im going to be called a fanboy, i have played ffxi since it launched in the US, and knew going into it that there were fees involved.


    The online game software, or atleast the install media is sold, you own that, as much as you own any other software product. What you ‘buy’ is the CD key. With most licensed software, when you renew, you get a new key(looking at you Norton).



    Monthly fees? They are sueing because the game has monthly fees?

    Well, if a game cant have montly fees anymore, then one of 4 things will happen, in order of likelyness:

    1. In game advertising for unrelated products will get rediculous. (Ride the new Toyota mount in WoW!)

    2. Updates, patches, bug fixes will be reduced to a bare minimum, as well as any free additional content.

    3. Inital purchase cost of the game will go through the roof.

    4. No more (big) MMO’s, not talking hacked free wow servers here, a MMO too expensive to maintain without monthly fees. We’ll go back to the days of Diablo II with locally hosted worlds.



    And, for the biggest pile of BS. this isnt really a class action lawsuit.


    Its one guy, suing for himself and "on the behalf of all other customers of the online game up to 4 years ago until the present".


    And he is requesting $5M for this…  $5,000,000.00

  33. 0
    JDKJ says:

    If the absence of a disclosure statement would cause a reasonable person to conclude that there are no online fees which they must pay and they purchased the product on the basis of this mistaken belief, then it could well be a good case of false advertising. Misrepresentations aren’t limit to actual false statements. It is also a misrepresentation to fail to state something which a reasonable buyer would want to know prior to engaging in the purchase. The old "lying by omission" misrepresentation. If not a good case of false advertising (some statutes do require an actual false statement and don’t recognize omissions as false advertising), then certainly the omission would be a factor in plaintiffs’ unfair trade practice cause of action.   

  34. 0
    Torven says:

    So far as I can tell, Square-Enix has not advertised the game or displayed it without the online fees disclaimer.  I am curious, though, would a lack of a disclosure statement in some advertisements count as a false statement?

  35. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’m doing no backpedaling. If you go back and read through, you’ll find that my position has always and consistently been "if, as plaintiffs allege, blah, blah, blah" or something along those lines. At no time do I ever take the postion that plaintiffs’ allegations are in fact true. I couldn’t. Putting aside the fact that I’m not entirely certain what a Final Fantasy is or what statements its seller may or may not make in advertising the product, I’m certainly not privy to what plaintiffs believe is the truth of their allegations. How could I ever begin to reasonably claim knowledge as to the truthfulness of plaintiffs’ allegation? I could do so with reason no more than you can reasonably claim knowledge as to the falsity of the plaintiffs’ allegations. Which leaves me wondering what’s your basis for the assertion "thats [sic] not what they did." How do you know that’s not what the seller did? Who knows what the plaintiffs are claiming was the false statement made? Do you? If not, how can you say that’s "not what they did?" You have no idea what they’re alleged to have done.   

  36. 0
    F3nris says:

    the problem is, you are backpeddaling.


    first you suggest that Playonline actually did mislead consumers, then when evidence is given that that is infact incorrect, you try to outline the complaint.

    We, I, understand what you are saying, but as many people here have said, thats not what they did.

  37. 0
    JDKJ says:

    If no false statements or other sorts of misrepresentations were made which would lead a buyer to conclude that they wouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee, then there is no valid cause of action for false advertising. All false advertising claims are based on the premise that the seller made a false statement of some sort. Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant mislead them with a false statement of some sort if they’re interesting in winning their lawsuit. However, if the seller makes a false statement on one hand and a counteracting true statement on the other hand, that doesn’t mean that the seller has not falsely advertised the product. The mere fact of the false statement on one hand suffices.

  38. 0
    Torven says:

    The box has said a monthly fee would be required to play from the day it hit the shelves.  So have the few television commercials aired for the game.

    Edit:  What I mean is that the game was clearly advertised as requiring a monthly fee to play.  Do they really have a claim of false advertisement when they were told upfront that they would not be able to play for free?

  39. 0
    F3nris says:

    Look on the bright side, atleast they dont report you to credit agencies like other service companies would.

    Dont pay your phone bill?  Late Fee -> Credit ding

    Dont pay your auto loan? Late fee -> credit ding -> repo


    Welcome to the real world

  40. 0
    F3nris says:

    When did they say there wouldnt be a fee? 90% of MMO’s have a monthly fee, only one i can think of is Guildwars that doesnt. Heck even Eve has a monthly fee, and thats a glorified text adventure game.

    Personal stupidity is no excuse to get your money back.

    If you really think you were cheated out of your money by paying a monthly fee, you better sue any subscription service you’ve ever signed up for because they did the same thing.


    Or, you are full of shit and just want to whine because you were banned.

  41. 0
    Thomas P. says:

    This is what I like about Blizzard, you pay, you can play.  Fail to pay for game time before its due and they cut you off until you pay.  Its very much at will.  No fees for cancelling, cancelling is as easy as clicking a few links in your account management page, and no late fees or crap like that.


    Charging late fees for a service such as an MMO is wrong.

  42. 0
    ecco6t9 says:

    So basically someone didn’t read the terms of agreement and they get to sue? By the wording of this I guess we can sue Nintendo since you have to PAY $249.99 to have access to the Virtual Console.

  43. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’d say no such thing . . . if for no other reason than whether no one knew there was a fee is irrelevant. What’s relevant and what I said was that if the plaintiffs to the class action against Final Fanasty were somehow mislead by Final Fantasy to believe that the transaction they were engaging in with Final Fantasy was a sale and not a licensing agreement, then they could resonably believe that no monthly fees attached to the use of the sold product. Again, in the outright sale of a product, the seller cannot properly attach any fees to the buyer’s use of the product. From the buyer’s perspective, the seller would have no legal right to exact fees of any sort related to the product because the seller would no longer have property rights in the product, having outright sold all such rights to the buyer. 

  44. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So you’re saying that nobody playing FF11 knew that there wasn’t a fee?  Then why are we not hearing about this for years after the fact?


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  45. 0
    JDKJ says:

    You bought your cell phone, does that mean you shouldnt have to pay monthly for service?

    If the lying son-of-a-bitch who sold me the phone told me the cost of wireless service was included in the phone’s price, then, no, I shouldn’t have to pay for monthly wireless service. Or, at the very least, it gives me a damn good basis to drag his ass into court for false advertising.

  46. 0
    F3nris says:

    —If I buy something outright, it’s mine to freely use. I don’t thereafter have to pay the seller a monthly fee to use it.

    You bought your cell phone, does that mean you shouldnt have to pay monthly for service?

    Your phone bill also goes to pay for the bulding of new cell towers and repairing of broken ones. A MMO fee does basicly the same thing.


    However, a company is not supposed to act as such especially let’s say if your hospitalized your information was stolen

    This is what a customer service phonenumber is for, and TBH why should they care WHY you cant pay, beyond the fact that you cant? Its a service fee not homework.


    —And I thought the unbeatable boss was a bad move. If you put in 36 hours of fighting and the boss isn’t dead by then, it can be considered unbeatable,

    There were two bosses in the game, ment to represent the hardest things the game could offer. The first group that went in didnt have a clue how to win, and just went old school throwing bodies at it. Since the change, a few more have tried and even fewer have won. The new 2 hour timelimit is the reason most fail now. Some of the secrets to beating them have been learned. Now theres just not enough time.


    —Bottom line very few people still play FFXI

    Not so much true. FFXI just announced they had the most active characters ever, and while i certainly agree FFXI isnt growing much anymore, the player base has sort of stabilized, im pretty sure FFXIV will kill it though.


    —Well, Square just assured that I’ll never touch one of their MMOs, ever.

    Why? Because some people had silly complaints that are going to be tossed out. People need to realize just because its a game, doesnt mean the business side of it isnt serious. Try not paying your rent or phone bill for a while and see what happens. Or try breaking some of the terms of your rental and see what happens when you get cought.


    —User restrictions and conditions related to the game

    Honestly sounds like a group of people that got banned reciently, why else complain that theres rules to how you play?


    —With FFXI you have 90 days to reactive an account before data is deleted, that’s what happened to me once.

    I stopped playing for 7 months. Dec ’05 -> July ’06, and didnt pay for my account during that time. When i came back my character was intact, as was my mule. They also have the ‘welcome home’ thing that allows you to recover characters.


    That is your right as an American Citizen because again when a business refuses to change it’s policy and they act in a hostile and sometimes abusive manner you do have the right to have a Judge take a look at this policy.


    You also have a right to shop elsewhere. Because you had a right as an American Citizen to read the agreement in the first place and decide if you wanted to accept. Granted i never read the damn things.

  47. 0
    JDKJ says:

    While I’m beginning to suspect that matter how many times and in how many different ways I say it, you still won’t understand it, let me try again:

    If a licensing agreement is indeed, as the plaintiffs allege, disguised as a sale, then it only naturally follows that fees of any sort cannot be attached by the seller to the product which was the subject of the disgiused sale. If I sell you something outright, I’ve lost all ability to attach further conditions on its use. It’s not mine to attach conditions to anymore. It’s now yours. And I don’t need to to mislead you as to the monthly licensing fee if I’ve mislead you to belief that the product is sold outright. The mere fact that I’ve caused you to believe the product was sold outright is sufficient for you to base the belief that no licensing fees are attached. Why would you believe that you have to pay licensing fees? As far as you’re concerned and based on my disguising of the transaction, you didn’t enter into a licensing agreement. You entered into a sales agreement.   

    To use your cell phone example again, if the seller misleads the buyer into the belief that the price of the phone includes the monthly cost of the wireless service, then the buyer isn’t on the hook for those monthly costs. But if, as is usually the case in an honest and fair transaction, the buyer makes it clear to the seller that the phone is being sold outright but the wireless service which makes it useful is not included in the price but, rather, must be borne by the buyer on a month-to- month basis, then the buyer’s on the hook for those monthly costs.

    And while there is no legal cause of action based on personal stupidity, there are many causes of action based on a seller’s misrpesentations to a buyer. That the buyer was stupid enough to believe the misrepresentation doesn’t usually matter. What’s more important is that the seller made the misrepresentation. Which, obviously, is precisely what the plaintiffs in this case are alleging. To again use the cell phone example, it’s no good defense for the seller to say, "Well, it’s your dumb-ass fault for believing me when I told you that the wireless service was built into the price of the phone. Everyone with a half a brain knows that it doesn’t work like that."


  48. 0
    JDKJ says:

    No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter what Square Enix told anyone other than what the Plaintiffs are claiming Square Enix told them.

    And what I will also say is that, as a rhetorical device, your habit of prefacing your arguments with "So what you’re saying is . . ." when I’ve actually said nothing of the sort is about as weak-ass as it gets. Where’d you pick that up? Has it ever actually worked on other people? Like, do they really let you put words in their mouths which they haven’t ever actually said? If it has worked for you before, here’s the bad news: that dumb shit ain’t gonna fool all the people, all the time.

  49. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So you’re saying that Square told a crapton of people that they had to pay a fee, but singled out these people for not, but made them pay anyway?


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  50. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I don’t know what kind of pickle you think that is, but with respect to the law of false advertising, it’s a meaningless pickle. What Square said to anyone other than the Plaintiffs is of no consequence. What the Plaintiffs claim Square did or didn’t say to them and what defense Square may have to those specific claims is all that matters. Or do you foolishly think that a claim of false advertising by Plaintiff X can be defended by pointing to what was said to everyone else but Plaintiff X? Everyone else ain’t suing you. Plaintiff X is.  

  51. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Well, the real pickle is, if people knew beforehand it was going to cost them a subscription fee, how did they find that out?  Oh, wait, SQUARE SAID SO!


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  52. 0
    -Jes- says:

    Neither does SOE, PlayNC, Reakktor, CCP, Flying Labs or FunCom for that matter.

    If SOE ever did so with EQ, then they evidently have learned since then.

  53. 0
    JDKJ says:

    What people may or may not know is of absolutely no relevance in a case of false advertising. What is of relevance is whether the statements made by the advertiser can be reasonably construed to state an offer for transaction "X" when the transaction really being offered is for "Y."

    And just like common knowledge is of no relevance, so, too, is the industry standard of no relevance. What’s relevant is the statements of the particular industry player and their reasonable construction. That everyone else says "Y" doesn’t mean that the particular advertiser wasn’t saying "X."

  54. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    It was more a lol, wut to the idea that it was disguised as a sale.  When it was coming out, people knew it would require a subscription (and, for the PS2, a Hard Drive).  People still know this.

    Also, WoW does the same thing.  You buy the content, but then you have to pay to get online.  How is this any different?

  55. 0
    JDKJ says:

    No, that’s not what I’m saying. I operate from the assumption that the Plaintiffs think they have some basis to claim that they have been deceived by Square Enix. What that basis is, I don’t know. I assume you don’t know, either. But what I do know as a matter of law is that the mere fact that the box states that a fee is required or that the website states a fee is required or the Terms of Use state a fee is required doesn’t matter so long as Plaintiffs can point to some false statement on the part of Square Enix which would have lead them to reasonably believe that no fees were required.

  56. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So, you really think that if I told you you had to pay a scrip, but you’re just retarded and don’t hear me, I’m guilty of false advertising?  No.  If Square in fact told their consumers that they’d have to pay a subscription (which they did, it’s on the box, on the website, and everywhere else), then it’s not false advertising when they have to pay for one, whether the consumer "thinks so" or not.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  57. 0
    JDKJ says:

    I’m beginning to suspect that you get your pearls of legal wisdom from the back of the same Fruit Loops cereal box that Ol’ Doc Kefka does.

  58. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    It’s not what the plaintiff’s think.  It’s the de-facto wording.  If the wording is vague, this will swing the judge into their favor, but if it’s clear that they were buying a game that charged monthly fees before purchase (Which I am willing to bet, seeing as how the plaintiff’s are NOT the entire FF11 community), they don’t have a leg to stand on.  As such, it would behoove the defense just to show the box the game came in.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  59. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    XBL is a service, not a game. At DnD Online, not paying means my account gets frozen. If I start playing again, my account is unfrozen starting from the point where I pay, plus give or take a day for the unfreezing to take place. I don’t get fined for not paying, and the time I didn’t play isn’t billed either. It’s simply the end of a subscription and not paying to have it renewed.

  60. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Actually, because most court rules of procedure only require that the plaintiff provide enough facts in their complaint to put the defendant on notice that there’s a claim against them (so-called "notice pleading") and don’t require each and every fact of the plaintiff’s case to be set forth in excruciating detail, you’ll find that most smart attorneys draft complaints that are thin on factual allegations. The benefit of doing this, as a matter of strategy, is that the plaintiff isn’t showing all his cards to the defendant early in the game. That way, if the defendant wants to see the cards that the plaintiff has, it’ll cost the defendant something to do so.

    And we do know that the class of plaintiffs is alleging, among other things, false advertising and the disgusing of a licensing agreement as an outright sales agreement. What falsehoods were stated which would lead the plaintiffs to believe that they are the victims of false advertising and a disguised transaction, I can only speculate. But those speculations ain’t really worth much. What’s all-important is what the plaintiffs think. And, for right now, they ain’t telling nobody what they think. And that’s their right.  

  61. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Give an example of a false statement used that would apply to this case.  We don’t know of any such claim, considering that isn’t even cited in the suit (neither were ANY details of the complaint).  If that were the case, then the lawyers suing are idiots for not citing it.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  62. 0
    Valdearg says:

    No other Gaming company does this, to my knowledge.

    Wow just cancels your account until such time as you can pay.

    SOE did the same thing.

    In fact, in the gaming realm, this PlayOnline company seems pretty dishonest, if the claims in this lawsuit are true. I’ll have to remember never to be a patron of this company..

  63. 0
    JDKJ says:

    That’s absolutely incorrect. If the seller induced the buyer into agreeing to the terms of use by means of false statements, then, regardless of what the terms of use state, that’s false advertising. And "caveat emptor" ("let the buyer beware") is usually not a valid defense to a claim of false advertising.

    To use my previous example again, if I tell you, "Come on down to Crazy Eddie’s Car Mart and I’ll sell you this ’98 Pontiac Firbird" and when you get to my Car Mart, I offer to lease you the ’98 Firebird, then that’s false advertising. Even though you went ahead and signed the lease agreement and regardless of what the terms of the lease agreement may say. It’s still false advertising. For which you are entitled to sue me and, when you win your lawsuit, give me back my Firebird and get back any monies you’ve paid me on the terms of our lease agreement. Because I tricked you into the deal with my false advertising. 

  64. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    Like I said, if it’s clearly outlined in the terms of use, then it isnt against the law, but if they used deceptive language or something like that in the terms of use, then yes, they may have a case.  However, to know for sure someone’s going to have to take a close look at a copy of the terms of use and i dont feel like buying my own copy of the game right now to do so >.>

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  65. 0
    JDKJ says:

    In a case claiming false advertising, the contract entered into by the buyer may not alone be dispositive. If, for example, the seller induced the buyer to come to their place of business by advertising a "sale" but, once the buyer got there, was in fact offering a "lease," then that’s a "bait and switch" and is indeed false advertising. Even though the buyer went ahead and entered into the lease.

  66. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Penalties for late payment of fees – No other company still does this, again Playonline does not look to make a profit and still have not suspended a lot of old Everquest formula actions or policies which made the Everquest Formula unpopular.

    Do you pay your own bills?  THOUSANDS of companies do this.

    If you get temporarily suspended on XBL, you still pay.  There’s no refund or pro rating.

    And, like all services, if you don’t pay on time, they can (and should) be suspended.


  67. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    It depends on how much the late payment fees are to be honest.  I’ve never played FFXI so I wouldnt know, but imo that’s the only part where they *may* (read: MAY) have a case.  Even if it is a bit greedy, it’s not necessarily illegal if its outlined in the terms of use (you know, that thing everyone hits "accept" on without reading?) The rest of it is just standard MMO policy.

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  68. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Nothing about the agreement is breaking the law.  All of these terms are just like cellphone plans, and I’m sure that argument will come up in Square’s defense of this.  With a cellphone, if you are late, they shut your phone off until you pay it.  They still charge you, plus interest, until the payment is made in full.  This also includes late fees and service charges.  I don’t think they delete your stuff if you are late in paying, but you get my point.  It’s still a binding contract.  The problem is that people don’t read an EULA.  I say it’s their own fault.  "I didn’t read the legal stuff and handed over my credit card.  Now I want money!"

    The fact of the matter is that, no matter what happens, this is going to affect the entire MMO landscape, and most likely not in a good way.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  69. 0
    -Jes- says:

    Most other online game services state that your character MAY be eligible for deletion after 3 months of account inactivity.

    if it ever happens, however, then it is a very LARGE exception.

    I have, for example, had accounts for AO, EVE, SWG, EQ2, PS, PotBS, WoW, GW, Neocron2, Navyfield and so forth lay inactive for up to years at a time, and have YET to ever get a character deleted due to inactivity.

    Not to mention, there’s no such thing as "late charges", as an account for these games is only ever open WHEN PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECIEVED*, and up to the paid for period thereafter.


    *or playcard/other special offers has been verified.

  70. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus says:

    Where as Blizzard keeps your account indefinately I’ve come and gone from them and still have my same account that I started in Closed Beta o_o;


    The only thing that angered me with FFXI is I got tired of it, bored within’ a few hours because of how slow it took to gain levels and I died quick and it was frustrating so it took me 3 days to find the means to Cancel where as with WoW it took me 10 minutes to cancel my account…that’s the only issue I’ve had with FFXI

  71. 0
    lumi says:

    You’re so full of it.  The things being complained about here are all things that WoW, the holy grail of commercial MMOs, does not do.  No one in dev (or more importantly, no one in production) is going to look at this case and say "well, P2P MMOs are not worth the risk".  They’re going to say "that was pretty greedy, and stupid, of them.  Let’s get back to trying to clone WoW so we, too, can print our own money."

  72. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    If WoW, DnD:Online and other MMOs get sued for the same, then that could discourage. But some of these claims already betray quite a big difference in payment-methods between the other games and this one, if they’re correct.

  73. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Or it could be seen by devs that MMO’s aren’t worth the trouble to make them P2P, so you get a lot of crappy F2P games.  Yes, I know there are a few good ones, but most really aren’t.  Not having good P2P MMO’s anymore is not a good thing.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  74. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    An Terms of Use Agreement is now law and sometimes Terms of Use Agreements add in language in itself is not legal but its, “testing the waters.” In situations like that if the other party or other parties lawyer doesn’t catch it but later notices an abusive clause it can be amended or removed by a Judge.

    Just because again you agree to a Terms of Use Agreement doesn’t mean again you have to agree to those terms especially again if it is unlawful in nature. You’ll get lawyers who sometimes want to add in personal things that even though its not legal in this state they want too see if the other person won’t notice. I once had a lawyer like that, he was an idiot.

    If you feel like a Terms of Use Agreement or a Service you paid for is violating you or your rights you can seek to have a Judge hear your case. Again, just because you have a lawsuit doesn’t make you a bad guy. What you are doing is sometimes getting yourself Legal Representation in which your paying for, then you pay for the Court Costs which means your paying for the Court to hear you (Not to mention your already paying taxes) and you’re pretty much asking a Judge to hear your claim and take a look at this matter and then that Judge will decide the merit of your case and if the company is in the wrong.

    That is your right as an American Citizen because again when a business refuses to change it’s policy and they act in a hostile and sometimes abusive manner you do have the right to have a Judge take a look at this policy.

  75. 0
    finaleve says:

    Let’s not forget when an error occurs (IE bad credit card), WoW simply "Freezes" the account.  When the player pays the bill, he can still use the characters on that account without having to start over (unless you want to roll another character than by all means).


    This is coming from a guy who’s played Wow for about 3 years and has taken about a year off from the game.

  76. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Well, Square just assured that I’ll never touch one of their MMOs, ever.

    I would say Blizzard got it right. You pay for time on WoW either by paying directly or buying time cards, and you can check your account to see how much time you have leftm and if you run out, you buy more when you can. No extra charges. And Blizzard won’t erase all of your hard work should you miss a payment, and with how much more a person has to put in on FF11, that’s an even bigger slap to the face.


    And I thought the unbeatable boss was a bad move. If you put in 36 hours of fighting and the boss isn’t dead by then, it can be considered unbeatable.

  77. 0
    JDKJ says:


    Industry standards don’t really matter, though. What counts is whether or not this particular industry player in any way mislead buyers to reasonably believe that they were entering into a sale and not a licensing agreement.

  78. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    After Everquest and before World of Warcraft yes. However most companies seeing gamers were becoming largely represented and World of Warcraft billing polices help make that company good capitol abandoned the old SOE Everquest Formula on how to make or conduct an MMO.

    Bottom line very few people still play FFXI and seeing your dollar invests in a company and so people eventually change their rules to get that dollar you haven’t been seeing many lawsuits. However Playonline had already been suited in Illinois and that suit was won so Playonline eventually settled and in Illinois they conduct business in a better fashion.

  79. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Sounds more like the terms and conditions of most pay-to-play games…


    Except, of course, the chargin suspended accounts, but that sounds more like error than crime.

  80. 0
    JDKJ says:

    @Austin_Lewis, who wrote: Licensing of online game software disguised as a sale (Lol, wut?)

    An "lol" and a "wut?" aren’t the most well-reasoned refutations of a claim that I’ve ever seen. You may want to try taking a look at the advertised terms by which the seller offered the transaction and giving some though to whether or not a reasonable person could have concluded that the offer’s advertised terms were for an outright sale and not for a licensing agreement. That’s a bit more analytical than the conclusory "lol" and "wut?" 

  81. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    Penalties for late payment of fees – No other company still does this, again Playonline does not look to make a profit and still have not suspended a lot of