Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of Grand Theft Auto V “False Advertising” Lawsuit

Grand theft auto V bikeThe Plaintiffs who claimed that Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and Rockstar Games, Inc.  “falsely advertised” the immediate online capability of the popular video game “Grand Theft Auto V” have appealed the trial court’s decision dismissing their lawsuit.

In their complaint filed last year in a federal district court in California, the Plaintiffs alleged that they purchased GTA V on its September 17, 2013 release date at a “premium” price, relying on defendants’ purported representations that online multiplayer game play was available immediately.  (The multiplayer feature of the game in fact launched two weeks later, on October 1, 2013.)  Plaintiffs argued that defendants’ representations were in violation of California laws generally prohibiting “unlawful,” “unfair,” or “fraudulent” business practices and other consumer statutes.  They also sought to certify a class of persons who were likewise purportedly deceived or harmed by defendants’ alleged misrepresentations.

On January 29, 2014, the trial court dismissed the complaint.  Referring to the packaging of the game itself, the Court noted that Defendants did not advertise any special feature of GTA V as available “immediately.”  The Court also noted certain disclaimers on the packaging, which cautioned that online play and other special features of the game ”may not be available to all users.”  In the Court’s view, these disclaimers were sufficient as a matter of law to alert consumers that online game play might not be immediately available.  Upon these findings, the Court found no actionable false advertising claim against the Defendants as a matter of law.

The underlying lawsuit is McMahon v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. et al., C.D. Cal. Case No. 5:13-cv-02032-VAP-SP.  The Court’s Order of Dismissal issued January 29, 2014.  Appellate notice was filed on February 24, 2014.