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Lawsuits, Founders, and Legality


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2 minutes ago, MadHatHacker said:

Bottom line, it looks like there really isn't a way to sue. You could possibly push for a class-action under laws pertaining to false advertisement/bait-and-switch, but from what others have said and what my research indicates, it's extremely far-fetched and most likely the only result would be a refund, as opposed to punitive damages or something more severe. 

Guess that wraps it up; mods, will you please lock the thread so it doesn't derail and remains concise for future reference?

 

So you made a thread to have some people agree with you for future reference?

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5 minutes ago, Mak_Gohae said:

So you made a thread to have some people agree with you for future reference?

Validation is a pretty important part of any fact gathering.

Nothing wrong with creating a thread seeking it.

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4 minutes ago, DeMonkey said:

Validation is a pretty important part of any fact gathering.

Nothing wrong with creating a thread seeking it.

That would be true if facts were gathered on his favor.

The intention of the thread is to create confusion over the legal rights founder "could" have, by opinion gathering of non-founders, nor DE legal advisers...nor any legal experts for that matter.

Edited by Souldend78
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13 minutes ago, Mak_Gohae said:

 

So you made a thread to have some people agree with you for future reference?

*raises an eyebrow*

If you have relevant information that disrupts what I personally interpret as an informed consensus, you're more than welcome to share it. 

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17 minutes ago, Souldend78 said:

The intention of the thread is to create confusion over the legal rights founder "could" have, by opinion gathering of non-founders, nor DE legal advisers...nor any legal experts for that matter.

I'm sorry, didn't realise you were the OP.

Because of course, only the OP truly knows why the thread of posted.

Seriously though, I can just as easily say you're a irrationally confrontational poster attempting to discredit OP's inquisitiveness with baseless accusations. That's what it looks like to me at least. Doesn't make either of us right though, if OP says that they're simply curious then I believe them, I am as well.

Hell, they said they've got the answer that they wanted. If the intention was truly to create confusion do you not think they'd try and get the thread going as long as possible?

No, so stop posting nonsense. That's how confusion like this starts.

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33 minutes ago, MadHatHacker said:

Bottom line, it looks like there really isn't a way to sue. You could possibly push for a class-action under laws pertaining to false advertisement/bait-and-switch, but from what others have said and what my research indicates, it's extremely far-fetched and most likely the only result would be a refund, as opposed to punitive damages or something more severe. 

Guess that wraps it up; mods, will you please lock the thread so it doesn't derail and remains concise for future reference?

You seem to be drawing some odd conclusions from the posts in this thread, and I don't think anyone will be using this "for future reference" as there's really nothing definitive here that could be considered useful.

If DE were to reintroduce the founders items then some founders would demand refunds, if DE refused those refunds then those founders could take DE to court to obtain them on the grounds of false advertising. If it went to court then in all likelihood the founders would win, but the majority of such cases are settled out of court anyway.

All this is completely hypothetical as DE are not stupid enough to go down this path in the first place, and certainly not stupid enough to refuse refunds if they did.

By the way, a class action lawsuit is when several people sue a defendant as a group. The same people all suing individually is not a class action lawsuit.

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37 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

You seem to be drawing some odd conclusions from the posts in this thread, and I don't think anyone will be using this "for future reference" as there's really nothing definitive here that could be considered useful.

If DE were to reintroduce the founders items then some founders would demand refunds, if DE refused those refunds then those founders could take DE to court to obtain them on the grounds of false advertising. If it went to court then in all likelihood the founders would win, but the majority of such cases are settled out of court anyway.

All this is completely hypothetical as DE are not stupid enough to go down this path in the first place, and certainly not stupid enough to refuse refunds if they did.

By the way, a class action lawsuit is when several people sue a defendant as a group. The same people all suing individually is not a class action lawsuit.

I'm well aware of the definition of a class action lawsuit. I see no rational reason a hypothetical lawsuit should be formatted as anything other than a class action suit. Ostensibly, each individual could sue individually, but it would be tine consuming and most likely prohibitively expensive. 

Even if you were able to establish a solid case, you would still have to find a way around the forfeiture of your right to pursue damages in civil court. Typically, the only way to do so is to pursue the case in criminal court, where you would be laughed down if you were even admitted. Your grievance is regarding a breach of contract, and maybe not even that; in any case criminal law isn't the answer here.

As for my drawing conclusions, I drew the only logical conclusion I could given the complete lack of evidence put forward in favor of a lawsuit. Several people have mentioned a contract, but to the best of my ability I have found no official mention or concrete evidence pertaining to such. 

I still have yet to see anything to convince me that a suit is even possible, let alone plausible. I made this thread to ask for such information; if you have it, provide it.

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2 minutes ago, MadHatHacker said:

I'm well aware of the definition of a class action lawsuit. I see no rational reason a hypothetical lawsuit should be formatted as anything other than a class action suit. Ostensibly, each individual could sue individually, but it would be tine consuming and most likely prohibitively expensive. 

Even if you were able to establish a solid case, you would still have to find a way around the forfeiture of your right to pursue damages in civil court. Typically, the only way to do so is to pursue the case in criminal court, where you would be laughed down if you were even admitted. Your grievance is regarding a breach of contract, and maybe not even that; in any case criminal law isn't the answer here.

As for my drawing conclusions, I drew the only logical conclusion I could given the complete lack of evidence put forward in favor of a lawsuit. Several people have mentioned a contract, but to the best of my ability I have found no official mention or concrete evidence pertaining to such. 

I still have yet to see anything to convince me that a suit is even possible, let alone plausible. I made this thread to ask for such information; if you have it, provide it.

Probably because a suit is beside the point.

DE made assertions that the items in the Founder pack would never be offered again.

Ownership was never the point... Digital Ownership doesn't really even exist.

They sold Exclusivity.

Does that mean they couldn't turn around and sell this stuff again? Nope.

Does that mean they could get sued for doing so? Sure, but you can be sued for anything...That doesn't mean they would necessarily lose that lawsuit.

They would, however, lose their reputation of integrity in an online space for doing so...That costs more in the long run.

Doing what you and others describe takes them from being an established Developer/Publisher with a successful break into the AAA online gaming market to a cautionary tale.

Good or bad, their rep will outlast this game.

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2 minutes ago, Padre_Akais said:

Probably because a suit is beside the point.

DE made assertions that the items in the Founder pack would never be offered again.

Ownership was never the point... Digital Ownership doesn't really even exist.

They sold Exclusivity.

Does that mean they couldn't turn around and sell this stuff again? Nope.

Does that mean they could get sued for doing so? Sure, but you can be sued for anything...That doesn't mean they would necessarily lose that lawsuit.

They would, however, lose their reputation of integrity in an online space for doing so...That costs more in the long run.

Doing what you and others describe takes them from being an established Developer/Publisher with a successful break into the AAA online gaming market to a cautionary tale.

Good or bad, their rep will outlast this game.

I couldn't agree more. From a PR perspective, reopening the Founder's Program is an egregious error. 

That said, that's not really what this thread is focused on. I'm only really interested in the legality and logistics of the oft-threatened lawsuit and the sharing of documentation and information regarding such. 

Thank you for keeping your response civil.

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I'm glad you made this thread, OP. I logged in just to upvote it.

Those that insist they have the right to sue over the hypothetical re-release of the founder's items, are afraid because they essentially do not have control in this matter at all. Once a player makes their gaming account and such, they officially agree with EVERYTHING that is written in the Terms and EULA.

Those who are founders, do not be afraid. DE will NOT re-release your items for the public to have. No game has ever, to my knowledge, did anything like this.

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4 minutes ago, EmptyDevil said:

Those who are founders, do not be afraid. DE will NOT re-release your items for the public to have. No game has ever, to my knowledge, did anything like this.

I don't really care. Have them to be honest.

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3 hours ago, MadHatHacker said:

This seems fairly damning in and of itself, and yet so many people still insist they have the right to sue. Why is that? Do you have any documentation that runs contrary to the EULA/ToS? Or is this just a kind of forum hivemind thing? I'm legitimately curious, and I'd appreciate any and all rational insight (ie, not  anything that starts with the words "well, they said"; I'm looking for documentation or other evidence, not hearsay). 

The whole "I'm going to sue!" thing is a running joke among gamers. Now, that's not to say that game companies NEVER get sued (and some with good reason) but the majority of the "people" (kids) threatening legal action against game companies are talking out of their [Error, not a number!]

I've heard people repeatedly claim they were going to sue Valve because they were banned from such and such game. I gave them phone numbers for the Washington state attorney general (where Valve is headquartered), links to lawyers (local and international) and asked them to update us with how their case is going. Haven't heard back yet...EVER.

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2 hours ago, corporatePaladin said:

I forget the exacts to it. But as I recall its mainly with how they sold the Founders packs and how the contracts regarding it were originally set up.

I wish I had all the exacts myself to help people understand the issue better then just saying "Lawsuits would happen if they tried" but that is the most basic version regarding it. But there is a real reason. Its not that just some salty child would start screaming. Like when Blizzard started banning people hard for modding their game. Again I really wish I had the proper information for this.

I was wondering if you had any copies or information pertaining to said contract? I've looked everywhere I can think of to find anything definitive about a contract, even gone back through years of Reddit posts, and I can't find anything.

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6 minutes ago, MadHatHacker said:

That said, that's not really what this thread is focused on. I'm only really interested in the legality and logistics of the oft-threatened lawsuit and the sharing of documentation and information regarding such. 

...But it is.

Your assertions presume that they couldn't choose to file a suit for such an action (Voiding the Exclusivity of these items).

And they actually can... You can file a suit for virtually anything, we are a litigious society.

Likewise, you assume that every country, state, and jurisdictional municipality recognizes agreed upon binding arbitration... They don't.

So, with respect, you are basically doing the same thing the folks you are concerned with are— Whistling in the dark.

At the end of the day, none of that is important though.

...The folks who threaten to sue aren't important to the issue... They'd get back what they put in most likely. That's a drop from the bucket for DE now.

...The folks who say DE can't be sued aren't important to the issue... They have no skin in this specific issue at all.

The only thing that matters is if DE did what they said they would and did so consistently.

They appear to be doing this... Even to the point of riding herd on the Chinese version to keep Prime Access stuff from being sold a little over a month ago.

The rest is kinda irrelevant.

 

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While they couldn't sue, at least in some countries, they would be automatically entitled to a refund though. Not that that would really be that much money to DE at this point. 

 

The whole thing is completely irrelevant though. It isn't about whether they could, or what consequences would happen. It is all theoretical exercise anyway because it will never happen. At this point it is their most sacred promise, as an up and coming gaming studio they would know the damage such a decision would cause to their reputation. So the whole debate is kind of pointless. 

Edited by Tesseract7777
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4 hours ago, Phatose said:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130310105706/https://warframe.com/founders

 

Reminder of the exact advertisement used, and thus the problem.

Going further to the "F.A.Q." https://web.archive.org/web/20130509142314/https://warframe.com/faq

 

What is an “Exclusive Founders Set”?

The Exclusive Founders Set is available for a limited time only and equips the user with the Excalibur Prime Warframe, and/or the Skana Prime Sword, and/or the Lato Prime Pistol. This special set is exclusively for Warframe Founders and available for a limited time only!

 

Basically there is the "in paper"...  kinda iffy considering the ToS/EULA, but anyway... there it is...

Also, me being a founder with Skana prime that didnt have enough funds for the next level at that time, i really dont care too much if they "unvault" the founder package.

 

Edit: They actually go back with what they said with the Design Council from founder packages :P... so basically anything goes atm with the rest of the prime thingys in the packages

Edited by KriLanze
Adding Design Council
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11 minutes ago, Padre_Akais said:

...But it is.

Your assertions presume that they couldn't choose to file a suit for such an action (Voiding the Exclusivity of these items).

And they actually can... You can file a suit for virtually anything, we are a litigious society.

Likewise, you assume that every country, state, and jurisdictional municipality recognizes agreed upon binding arbitration... They don't.

So, with respect, you are basically doing the same thing the folks you are concerned with are— Whistling in the dark.

At the end of the day, none of that is important though.

...The folks who threaten to sue aren't important to the issue... They'd get back what they put in most likely. That's a drop from the bucket for DE now.

...The folks who say DE can't be sued aren't important to the issue... They have no skin in this specific issue at all.

The only thing that matters is if DE did what they said they would and did so consistently.

They appear to be doing this... Even to the point of riding herd on the Chinese version to keep Prime Access stuff from being sold a little over a month ago.

The rest is kinda irrelevant.

 

Valid points, but I stand behind my initial statement. I am not whistling in the dark. While I admit I came into this with my own bias, said bias is based firmly on facts and research that support it. 

And while it is true you can sue for almost anything, litigation is nonetheless based in legality. If you are unable to find a legal basis to support your grievances, a lawsuit will more than likely be immediately dismissed. 

I am more than willing to consider any evidence that suggests I'm incorrect. That's why I'm asking for people to provide such.

Edited by MadHatHacker
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After digging around some more, it would appear that if DE were to reintroduce the founders items, it could be considered a 'breach of warranty' under the Ontario Sale of Goods Act.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90s01#BK54

By stating that the founders items were exclusive and would never be available again, DE 'warrantied' that they would not reintroduce them into the game.

Breaking that promise would put them in breach of warranty, which would be actionable under the Sale of Goods Act linked above.

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4 hours ago, HerpDerpy said:

DE basically made a promise that the founders stuff would be exclusive and never resold again. Im sure they could resell it if they wanted to but it doesn't make it any less of a S#&$ty thing to do.

 

As harsh as it sounds, I have to agree with this. To make this content available would be going against their promises and to give a middle finger to all those that bought Founder packs. It's true, we do not technically own much of anything in Warframe, and it's also true that those who bought Founder packs should basically think of it as 'donating their money to DE'. But I also strongly believe that exclusivity is part of the Founder's packs, and that by re-releasing the packs they would be stripping that away.

You wouldn't want to buy expensive and high-class brands like Chanel if they suddenly weren't all that high-class and shiny anymore, would you? No you wouldn't, you'd go to the cheaper brands that are now basically at the same class. And those that have already bought it are now cheated out of what they paid extra for.

Edited by Zerathos_Dagon
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34 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

After digging around some more, it would appear that if DE were to reintroduce the founders items, it could be considered a 'breach of warranty' under the Ontario Sale of Goods Act.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90s01#BK54

By stating that the founders items were exclusive and would never be available again, DE 'warrantied' that they would not reintroduce them into the game.

Breaking that promise would put them in breach of warranty, which would be actionable under the Sale of Goods Act linked above.

Excellent, thank you. This is the kind of information I made this thread to aggregate. I'll read it shortly.

EDIT:

So a few issues, right off the bat. One, these claims apply to warranties, which in and of themselves are legal contracts. It's pretty easy to dismiss on that basis in and of itself, but there's more.

The wording surrounding the "conditions of the warranty" doesn't appear to apply to anything other than the warranty itself. The initial item that was sold has nothing to do with this, and the exclusivity of the item most likely wouldn't be a function of the warranty itself, per se. 

Finally, this only entitles you to pursue damages in civil court, which as we discussed earlier, you have waived your right to.

That said, I appreciate the effort you put in to providing a definitive answer. +1

Edited by MadHatHacker
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18 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

After digging around some more, it would appear that if DE were to reintroduce the founders items, it could be considered a 'breach of warranty' under the Ontario Sale of Goods Act.

I read through the link but didn't really see anything on promises.

As far as warranty goes I believe you need a little more than ''I promise''. A warranty is a legal document in and of itself iirc.

Unless there was any legitimate legal paperwork that expressly states that the items will remain forever limited to those purchasers then there is no warranty on them. 

For example if I wanted to take out a warranty of my phone and the guy said ''Give me £50 and I promise I'll fix it if it breaks''... that's not a warranty, and if he refused to fix my phone he hasn't breached anything. Even if there were advertisements up at the time in the store saying the same thing, it's only a promise. All that it is false advertising (which is wrong in itself of course).

Just my thoughts on the matter, I don't think given the current knowledge I own there's any grounds for this to be a 'breach of warranty'. I could of course be entirely wrong though.

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