As reported by Polygonan Arizona parent has filed a possible class-action lawsuit against Blizzard for selling Hearthstone card packs to minors.
Lawyers for the father Nathan Harris have filed a complaint with the Orange County Superior Court on behalf of his daughter and other minors who purchased the Hearthstone random card packs. Harris’ lawsuit alleges that his daughter used her credit and debit cards to spend more than $300 on card bundles between 2019 and 2021. The lawsuit argues that Blizzard’s lack of refund policy and parental controls violates ” law of denial”, or the right to waive a contract, as it applies to minors under the California Family Code.
Blizzard filed its own complaint on May 17, outlining some counterarguments, as well as requesting that the case be moved from the Orange County Superior Court to the upper-tier Central District of California. Blizzard argues that the company “does not know, and would have no way of knowing precisely, which Hearthstone in-game transactions were initiated by minors using their parents’ credit or debit cards, as the Plaintiff claims to have done.” The complaint continues: “Blizzard does not admit, and indeed disputes, that such transactions fall within the scope of any state’s denial law.”
The company also argues that the “unknown portion” of Hearthstone’s $1 billion revenue, comprised of underage sales, would only have to represent “half a percent” of that revenue to exceed the $5 million threshold to move the case. from Orange. County Courthouse for the Central District of California.
Legal action on loot boxes has largely been a failure in the United States, with Blizzard successfully moving a 2020 process covering Overwatch’s loot boxes for arbitration, while European regulations against loot boxes are in line with the EU’s vastly stronger digital consumer protections.
In 2022, game loot boxes have largely become obsolete, at least in the PC space, with battle passes or direct purchases becoming more the norm. The controversy over their resemblance to online gambling now it’s a little ironic given the growing prevalence of literal and legal online gambling in the US, but at least DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook don’t have such explicit appeal to kids.