Candy Crush Saga Creator King Sued In New Class Action Case For Denying Donated Lives In Popular Freemium Title
When you're the King, somebody's bound to come at you. As such, King, the makers of geriatric cocaine simulators like Candy Crush, is under fire for denying lives in the popular mobile app.
A new class action lawsuit initiated earlier this month in Illinois is alleging that the mobile giant is denying lives to players who use the Candy Crush Facebook app. In the game players can either wait 30 minutes for a new life (an interminable amount of time as anybody knows), spend $0.99 to purchase an additional 5 lives, or, and here's where the lawsuit comes in, pester their Facebook friends to receive an additional life.
The suit alleges that players who logged out of the game after receiving these donated lives would log back in and discover said lives mysteriously gone. Not wishing to wait or bother people again, they would then purchase more lives via the in-game store.
Given that lives in Candy Crush now have a real world valuation - roughly 20 cents a life - this is tantamount to digital theft, they state. " "As a consequence of King's conduct, players bought replacement lives through In-App Purchases as substitutes for the lives improperly removed by King, thus enriching King," the complaint states. "This case challenges such intentional profiteering at the expense of consumers."
What's 20 cents, you might ask? Well, it can add up quickly. According to Business Insider, "If King's practices injured at least 25 million people, as the complaint alleges, the total damages would total above $5 million, the amount necessary to elevate a class action lawsuit to the federal level."
Five million is but a drop in the bucket for King. Candy Crush Saga alones makes a little over one million dollars per day
There is, of course, some schadenfreude to be had. King has been notorious in attempts to protect its brands, going so far as to trademark the word 'candy' for use in video games, as well as attempting to trademark 'saga', which forced a confrontation between them and Stoic, the makers of The Banner Saga (a game you all should own). King eventually backed down. Also, the company went after the game that their own game copied.
There has been a firestorm of controversy over the freemium model in mobile games. Apple just settled a $100 million lawsuit which states that, at least in Europe, games must make it clear that this game features in-app purchases. While we hope the players of these games find some recompense, there is no way to make up for the more precious gift: time.