The ArcheAge lawsuit drama might finally — finally! — be over.
As you might recall, if you’ve been following along for, oh, the better part of a decade, when Trion Worlds launched ArcheAge, one of the perks for founders buying the expensive pre-purchase pack was to be a 10% discount in the cash shop. Upon launch, however, that wasn’t to be, with founders instead getting a 10% bonus when they purchased currency. While gamers might grouse and grumble a lot about “false advertising” when it comes to promised features in MMOs that change or never materialize, this complaint had some merit, weaving its way through California’s courts for years, outlasting even Trion itself.
Now, the saga seems finally to be at a close. A $420,000 settlement was announced in January, and checks involved with that settlement are finally reaching players. MMO Fallout’s Connor has received his, a massive five-dollar windfall, while various folks on Reddit are announcing amounts from $5 on up. One of the original plaintiffs, Aaron Van Fleet, reported receiving a check for $2,000, even though “all I wanted was a a $15 refund for not getting the 10% discount.”
I’m of mixed feelings regarding this whole affair and its (apparent) conclusion. Here’s how I see it: The people actually responsible for the bait-and-switch discount are probably long gone from having anything to do with ArcheAge. Whether it was a Trion executive, marketing director, game director, or whoever, that actual individual(s) will not be facing any penalty for their behavior. They reaped the benefits of the scam — increased sales of the game — and have long since fled the scene of the crime. Even the company itself won’t be punished, since it no longer exists. Whether you like or hate gamigo, it had nothing to do with this and was simply left holding the bag. Therefore, it seems that there there would be little to prevent a similar thing from happening again.
That is, to some degree how corporations work, and have to work, so that individuals don’t risk financial ruin for (less malicious) mistakes their companies make. Still, if you’re happy to see this because “they finally got what they deserved,” I’d suggest going a little light on your enjoyment from revenge factor of it all, because the nebulous “they” probably didn’t.