Law of the Game on Professional Plaintiffs and Class Action Suits

Joystiq’s latest Law of the Game column takes a look at the intertwinement of professional plaintiffs and class action suits.

The article was written in response to a pair of recent news stories: a possible class action suit against Microsoft over Xbox Live bannings and Erik Estavillo, the banned Resistance: Fall of Man player, whose latest lawsuit targets Microsoft and Nintendo.

Author Mark Methenitis denotes a professional plaintiff as someone whose livelihood depends on suing people. He adds that plaintiffs who are gamers are more prone to demonstrate similar standing, versus attaching their suit to a statute, making them a perfect entry point to class action litigation.

Of course, class action lawsuits “tend to be larger and thereby more profitable, especially to a law firm on a contingency fee basis.”

Methenitis thinks it “unlikely” that we will see fewer lawsuits as time progresses, but tells us not to worry too much about game industry companies that are targeted, as they “have substantial legal teams to deal with these kinds of suits.”

He finishes:

What should concern consumers would be a series of victories against gaming companies. If plaintiffs are successful, then there are two potentially larger problems facing the industry: are companies becoming more dishonest and predatory, and should we be concerned about the continued viability of those studios with substantial legal settlements against them?

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