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France Threatening Blizzard with Legal Action

Posted 13 Jun 2012 by

As we saw previously in news from Korea about Blizzard’s offices being investigated and threats of class action lawsuits, we’re now hearing similar news from from France. The original article is in French (Google translation) but since MortusMox was helpful enough to include a nice summary of it in his news tip, I’ll just quote him:

In France, the very serious “UFC Que Choisir” organization (focused on protecting consumers of all kinds of products) has received over 1500 complaints in 4 days from gamers about connect-ability issues and has asked Blizzard to have a permanent solution within 15 days and to communicate completely and transparently about problems encountered in due time.

They are also requesting that affected gamers be given damages for troubles they may have had, and, in a much broader but more official manner, are asking the DGCCRF to have a close look at online-only DRMed games and how they work, including economically. They basically feel that it’s wrong to assume that an entire nation (well, at least France) has equal internet quality and reception across its entire territory and hence, online-only seems are harmful for some (many?) consumers (which is who they’re trying to protect).

It’s interesting that in countries with functional consumer protection agencies (e.g. not the US) we’re seeing judicial pressure on Blizzard for technical issues related to Diablo III’s online-only DRM and the RMAH.

A lot of you guys were strongly opposed to that system when it was first revealed, those complaints returned sevenfold when the “rocky” launch went off, and it’s still a vexing issue for many. But if anyone argued against it on legal grounds, I didn’t see those complaints. Now that the issue has been broached, any armchair lawyers want to leap into the commenting fray?