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Top 10 Times People Sued Video Game Companies

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Christopher Lozano We’ve all been angry at games & gaming companies before, but how many times have you lawyered up and taken em’ to court. Well, these people did! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times People Sued Video Game Companies. Special thanks to our user “Abellewis27” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comSuggest

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Top 10 Times People Sued Game Companies

Somebody call Phoenix Wright – we’re heading to court! Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Times People Sued Game Companies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at all those times people felt so ripped off, mislead, or even addicted that they sued some of the biggest developers and publishers in the industry.

#10: Olsen Twins v. Acclaim

This is a unique one. These celebrity twins sued Acclaim Entertainment for over $177 thousand dollars in royalties and interest plus an added $300 thousand for canceling their game “Mary-Kate and Ashley in ACTION!” based on their animated TV show of the same name. The game was to be released for the PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Game Cube and PC in 2003. Their lawyer claimed that the publisher had ruined the twins’ video game brand by not releasing the game. The pair had been featured in 9 video games up to that point and they generally received mostly negative reviews, so maybe Acclaim was doing them a favor.

#9: 64 Year-Old Woman v. NCsoft

Probably tired from a day’s worth of killing monsters, a 64 year-old Korean woman, tried to enchant the ultra-rare Jin Myung Hwang's Conduct Sword in “Lineage,” but her failed attempt resulted in the sword’s destruction. It turns out that the sword was worth $28 thousand dollars on the resale market. That’s a lot of money for a bunch of pixels. She claimed she had tried to enchant the sword by accident, and tried to get NCsoft to restore the item. They refused, and had the backing of the court because her logs seemed to prove that she continued enchanting items after the sword broke and even bought a spell to help her enchant.

#8: Tattoo Artist v. THQ

Games these days are becoming hyper-realistic. This is especially the case for many sports games. In fact, one game in particular, “UFC Undisputed 3”, was so detailed in its depiction of fighter Carlos Condit and his lion tattoo that the artist of said tattoo felt the game company had infringed on his copyright on the artwork. Christopher Escobedo wanted $4.1 million is damages, but was awarded $22,500, which, by the way, the same amount Condit was paid for his likeness to appear in the game. If you ever wondered why your favorite athlete’s in-game tattoos don’t match the ones they have in real-life, this case probably had something to do with it.

#7: Smallwood v. NCsoft

The “Lineage” series and NCsoft make their second appearance on our list, this time for “Lineage II.” Apparently, NCsoft make such good games that they should be illegal. Craig Smallwood filed a claim stating that “Lineage II” had caused him to suffer depression and serious and extreme emotional distress, as he had logged over 20 thousand hours in the game over 3 accounts between 2004 and 2009. In most cases where users sue software companies over these sorts of grievances, the companies are protected by the user agreements, but in this case, the judge chose to move forward with the case.

#6: Russian Man v. Bethesda

Speaking of addictive video games, next up we have a Russian man who claimed that Bethesda’s Fallout 4 ruined his life. Not because it was bad or broken or too hard, but because it was addictive. The man claimed that the game makers failed to warn him about how addictive it was and that had he known, he might not have bought it. As it happened, he went on a 3-week gaming binge that cost him his marriage, friends, and job. The Russian man claims those damages added up about $7 thousand dollars. For a guy who apparently lost everything, he really wasn’t asking for much in return.

#5: Universal v. Nintendo

When two giant corporations go at it, there’s only one thing we lowly consumers can do: sit back and watch the chaos unfold. In this case from way back in 1984, Universal, known as Universal City Studios at the time, alleged that Nintendo’s character Donkey Kong was a trademark infringement on their character “King Kong.” A giant ape standing on top of a building with the woman he’s taken as a captive… nope, we don’t see the similarities at all. Nintendo argued that the character of King Kong was in the public domain, and eventually won the case, which you probably guessed since DK is still around.

#4: Douglas Ladore v. Sony

This game was supposed to be a major release title for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and the company hyped it up with claims of native 1080p gaming. However, after release, it became apparent that the developers used a “technological shortcut” to make the game appear to be 1080 in multiplayer. Douglas Ladore really didn’t like that, and filed a $5 million-dollar suit as a result. The lawsuit was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning that Ladore was barred from bringing up the same lawsuit in the future. That must be why video game publishers are always keeping their promises now? Right? Right?

#3: John Beiswenger v. Ubisoft

John Beiswenger is the author of a book titled “Link” which takes its name from a technological system in the story that allows people to travel to the past via the memories of their ancestors. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Ubisoft uses a similar premise and technological system for its “Assassin’s Creed” series called the Animus. Beiswenger claimed this similarity was a direct copy of his work and filed suit. He would later drop the suit voluntarily with his lawyer claiming, “the resources required to defend those rights are unavailable to many individual creators.”

#2: Jack Thompson v. Sony

In 2005, notorious attorney Jack Thompson filed suit against Sony after Alabama man Devin Moore shot and killed 3 police offices and escaped in their stolen cruiser. Thompson was able to convince the families of the victims that the crime was caused by “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” Thompson by that point had gained a reputation for crusading against violence in video games. The court, however, decided that he should be removed from the case for ethical reason. Thompson would later have his license revoked and was then disbarred a few years later.

#1: Lindsay Lohan v. Take-Two Interactive

It seems a Grand Theft Auto release isn’t complete without a lawsuit. In 2014, Lindsay Lohan alleged that the makers of GTA V used her likeness and image in creating the game’s character Lacey Jonas, as well as the “Blonde Girl in the Red Bikini” that was featured prominently in the games’ marketing. It was revealed later that the “Blonde Girl in the Red Bikini” was likened after a model named Shelby Welinder who was hired for the job, and proved this with a photo of her invoice from RockStar. The court later tossed Lohan’s case out.

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