Way back in the day, when ArcheAge launched in the West, part of the $150 early access package included a 10% cash shop discount after the game launched. The thing is, it was never precisely specified when that discount would be available.
So, when the game launched without Patrons getting the discount, Trion's explanation -- "Hey, we just said 'after' it launched, we didn't specify a time frame" -- was not exactly well-received. When the discount never materialized and, instead, a 10% bonus on credit purchases was implemented in its place, a few players took enough umbrage that they opted to sue Trion Worlds.
MMO Fallout summarized the suit back in April and posted another update this week. The main problem with the suit is that it's also taking on the legality of loot boxes in addition to the unfulfilled 10% discount. It appears that Trion is attacking the former and trying to get the suit thrown out while mostly ignoring the latter. It doesn't help that the loot box argument includes, as its main form of "evidence," 50 pages' worth of complaints on the forums, which MMO Fallout aptly describes as "players musing the idea that 'this is probably illegal because I don’t like it.'"
I have to be honest -- I remember the discount fiasco and Trion's waffling about it early on, but I thought it had been eventually implemented into the game and the whole thing had blown over. The fact that it wasn't, and was instead replaced by a 10% bonus to credits, seems like the textbook definition of "bait-and-switch," with both bait (10% discount) and switch (10% credit bonus) present. I agree with MMO Fallout that the part of the lawsuit involving loot boxes is extraneous and will probably do more harm than good, but if the courts, and the plaintiff, can focus on the discount double-step, maybe there will the actual chance of a judgment against Trion.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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