Square-Enix Sued For "Concealing Monthly Fees"
Well, the fans have finally gotten to Square-Enix. Of course, this isn't about opinion or personal preference; it's about losing money. Nobody likes that.
According to 1Up citing Courthouse News Service, a class action lawsuit has been brought against Square-Enix for "unfair business practices." The plaintiff in the case is Esther Leong of San Francisco, who claims that Square-Enix "lied about or concealed its monthly fees, penalties for late payments, interest, restrictions and other things that should have been fully disclosed at points of purchase" in regards to Final Fantasy XI. She's seeking $5 million in restitution...which seems a touch excessive. We're not entirely sure how Square-Enix concealed this information; for example, if you simply go to the FFXI official site, it tells you in fairly large font that there's a $12.95 monthly fee. But we figure lawyers don't take cases that have no chance (they're smarter than that, right?), and it seems they're going to court. That is, unless they reach an out-of-court settlement, which may indeed happen. Perhaps this will make Square-Enix look very closely at how they go to present Final Fantasy XIV to the masses; this could be one of those "lesson learned" things. Then again, maybe they've done nothing wrong and there will be no lesson. Who knows?
But anyway, we'll be interested to see the final result of this case, and we also want to know the specifics regarding Square-Enix's "failure to disclose" or whatever.
6/25/2009 Ben Dutka