Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax Media, Inc. make the game Fallout 4 and its downloadable content (DLC). The complaint for this class action alleges that the companies sold a season pass for the game that they advertised as giving purchasers all the DLC for the game. However, the complaint says, the companies provided additional DLC that was not available with the season pass.
The Worldwide Damages Class is all persons who paid for or acquired a season pass for Fallout 4, regardless of platform or method of purchase.
Bethesda creates the popular games series Fallout. DLC is a way of monetizing a game after its release by offering players additional options. For example, “skins” allow players to change the appearance of characters or items.
Season passes are a bunding of DLC which may include either a list of specific DLC or all the DLC that will be released for the season. Season passes usually offer a discount over what the items would cost if bought separately.
Fallout 4 came out in June 2015. The season pass was announced on September 9: “To reward our most loyal fans, this time we’ll be offering a Season Pass that will get you all of the Fallout 4 DLC we ever do for just $30. …[W]e know that it will be worth at least $40, and if we do more, you’ll get it all with the Season Pass.”
The complaint claims that wherever the season pass was sold, the description said, “[G]et the Fallout 4 season pass and get all Fallout 4 DLC for one S.P.E.C.I.A.L. price.” The same description also appeared on packaging for the product and, in different languages, on foreign packing and listings for the product.
Fallout 4 was released on November 10, 2015. The DLC was released after that and included weapons, clothing, locations, characters, creatures, and quests.
In June 2017, the website announced Creation Club, “a collection of all-new content for both Fallout 4 and Skyrim. It features new items, abilities, and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners including the best community creators.” This additional material was “available via in-game digital marketplaces in both Fallout 4 and Skytrim and purchased with Credits. Credits are available for purchase on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam.”
The complaint claims, “Creation Club is indistinguishable from DLC, including DLC released for Fallout 4 by Defendants themselves.” Bethesda’s Vice-President of Public Relations and Marketing described the Creation Club content as “almost like mini DLCs in some way.” Later, he reiterated on Twitter that “it’s like mini DLCs.”
The complaint says, “On information and belief it would cost at least $150 worth of Credits to purchase all of the Fallout 4 Creation Club content released thus far.” However, it has not been made available to season pass holders for Fallout 4.
The complaint alleges breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and fraud or deceit, among other things.