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  • Deceptive and Fraudulent In-Game Advertising: Coy v. Lilith Games

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Charles Ash, IV, Trent Kashima, and Kevin Stoops filed a class-action lawsuit against a Chinese videogame developer (Lilith Games) alleging that its Rise of Kingdoms mobile game was part of a predatory scheme to exploit players, including minors, using deceptive advertising techniques for financial gain.

Filed in federal court in California, the complaint alleged that the defendant used deceptive and misleading representations to solicit in-game purchases from users once they began playing the game. The fraudulent nature of these solicitations arises from the fact that the chances of a player actually receiving the item solicited by the defendant were misrepresented and disingenuously low. Defendant represented many of its loot-box driven games as games of random chance, when, in fact, the odds of the various outcomes were predetermined by the defendant and not disclosed to the consumer. The complaint also alleges that the defendant’s games amount to a form of unregistered, fixed gambling in violation of California gaming laws.

The plaintiff also asserted that the defendant capitalized on in-game cheating by other players to maximize its profits. For example, the defendant was aware many players were engaged in “account sharing” (an act strictly prohibited by the game’s terms of service) but failed to take any action to stop it. Instead, the defendant was complicit in players cheating and actually took measures to capitalize on it by selling repair kits (“Fate Changer” bundles) to the players adversely affected by the cheating.

The named plaintiff in the putative class action lawsuit claimed he lost over $8,000 to the defendant’s scheme and asserted that tens of thousands of other individuals were similarly harmed by the defendant’s violations of California laws. The lawsuit seeks redress on behalf of all individuals in the United States who have lost money while playing Lilith’s Rise of Kingdoms mobile game. Additional class members have already come forward, each seeking to recover thousands of dollars from the defendant. The class seeks unspecified monetary damages, restitution, and injunctive relief against the defendant.

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