Some wonder why more and more software houses are and publishers are including in their End User Agreements clauses that prevent class actions.
That’s most probably because they end up spending a lot of money defending against them, money that would probably be better spent making more and better games, especially considering that most of those class actions prove, in the end, unfounded. The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals seems to believe so about the case brought by five alleged former players of Final Fantasy XI against Square Enix.
In the EULA of Final Fantasy XI there’s a clause that states that after three months of inactivity there’s no guarantee that a player’s character will be preserved on the servers (even if they’re actually deleted quite rarely, and even if it happens, there are ways to recover them. Personally I’ve been inactive for years, and I still found mine waiting for me upon reactivation).
The five plaintiffs found issue with that procedure and with the fact that (according to them) it’s not publicized enough, and filed a class action against Square Enix about it. The class action was initially dismissed on April the 20th, 2010 by the Central District Court of California. The plaintiffs appealed against the ruling, and four days ago (on December the 20th) the Court of Appeals affirmed it, stating that the claims at the base of the class action are without merit, and that the publisher owns the rights to all the digital content of the game, characters included.