When a lawsuit manages to make it all the way to Federal Court, no matter how dumb it may sound, there is probably a good reason for it to be there. Or at least, that’s how it usually is. In some cases though, the lawsuit is exactly as dumb as it sounds and is quickly dismissed, as was with the suit against Take-Two Interactive claiming that the slightly delayed launch of Grand Theft Auto Online constituted fraudulent business practices.
The class action lawsuit, known as McMahon v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. et al, claimed that when GTA V launched on September 17 and sold for a “premium price,” the omission of the online mode was “unlawful.” GTA Online launched two weeks later on October 1 – a fact that Rockstar Games made clear well in advance of the September 17 launch – but the case proceeded regardless. The plaintiffs sought damages on behalf of all gamers in California that purchased GTA V, bringing the suit under the state’s false advertising and unfair competition laws.
Basically, the suit claims that the plaintiffs purchased the game for the online portion, and then had to wait a whole two weeks to play it. During online-less fortnight, all they were left with was the series’ widely renowned solo mode, set in a massive open world, and featuring dozens of missions, three protagonists, and a deep story.
It was a rather silly lawsuit, and U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Philips agreed. The judge sided with Take-Two’s lawyers and dismissed the case, according to GamePolitics.
In the decision, Judge Philips cited the game’s packaging, which never claimed that the online portion would be available “immediately.” The judge also went on to point out that Take-Two placed disclaimers on the package that specifically stated that certain features, including the online portion, “may not be available to all users” at launch.
Fans might see some semblance of logic in the lawsuit when you consider that the online game was filled with bugs at launch, often rendering it unplayable. The depths of those problems weren’t immediately evident though, and the lawsuit was filed by Bruce McMahon and Christopher Bengtson on October 4. Once the game moved past the bugs, it proved itself enough to win our award for the Best Online Game of the Year.