A Russian gamer is suing the makers of Fallout 4 because he said it was too addictive.
The identity of the player hasn’t been made public. The story, from the Russia Today site, appears to have originated from the man’s lawyers, who have only revealed that he is a 28-year-old male from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. The suit is against both makers Bethesda Softworks and local distributors Softklab.
He claims the game proved so addictive that despite it only being released six weeks ago, he has already been fired from work for not showing up. He also says he’s suffered ill health through a lack of sleep and food, and that his wife has left him.
While this sounds on the surface to be either a hoax or somebody making a ludicrous claim in the hope of scaring a company into a settlement, this certainly isn’t a multi-million dollar cash grab. The man, said to be suing for emotional distress, is reportedly only asking for 500,000 roubles (approximately US$7,000.)
A similar case brought by a man from Hawaii in 2010 over Lineage II ended in a sealed settlement with makers NC Interactive. In that case the central issue of game addiction turned out not to be the most interesting aspect.
Instead it was the fact that NC Interactive tried to have the case dismissed based on terms in the End User License Agreement which said that all cases relating to the game had to be held in Travis County, Texas, and that the company could not be held liable for any “SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES.”
The judge rejected the claim, making a rare ruling that just because somebody agrees to a term in a EULA doesn’t mean it can be enforced if it is fundamentally unfair.