Bethesda has created some of the most successful and well-loved franchises in RPG history, whether you like them or hate them, they are extremely popular. They are also very mod-friendly. But a lawsuit has been filed against Bethesda over controversy surrounding Fallout 4’s Creation Club and Season Pass owners.
Lawsuits aplenty, it seems like everyone is suing everyone these days. Nevertheless they always seem justified to an extent, but this latest one walks a fine line for sure. This new lawsuit is saying that Bethesda essentially committed fraud by offering players a Season Pass for all future DLC for the game, but that didn’t include any Creation Club content.
“To reward our most loyal fans, this time we’ll be offering a Season Pass that will get you all of the Fallout 4 DLC we ever do for just $30,” Bethesda said in a post around Fallout 4’s launch. “Since we’re still hard at work on the game, we don’t know what the actual DLC will be yet, but it will start coming early next year. Based on what we did for Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim, we know that it will be worth at least $40, and if we do more, you’ll get it all with the Season Pass.”
After launch, the description for Fallout 4’s Season Pass stated that users would “get the Fallout 4 Season Pass and get all Fallout 4 DLC for one S.P.E.C.I.A.L. price.”
However, in 2017 Bethesda revealed the Creation Club, which was a “collection of all-new content for both Fallout 4 and [The Elder Scrolls V:] Skyrim. It features new items, abilities, and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners including the best community creators. Creation Club content is fully curated and compatible with the main game and official add-ons.”
Bethesda tried to blow these off as ‘mods’ which some of them were, but at the time most of them were created by Bethesda staff. According to the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, this counts as DLC, and Season Pass owners were entitled to that DLC free of charge, just like the description said.
“Simply put, Bethesda sold a Season Pass with the understanding that it was going to give the holders of the Season Pass any and all DLC content there was going to be created for the game Fallout 4 on a go-forward basis,” said Filippo Marchino, one of attorneys at The X-Law Group who filed the lawsuit.
“They released a limited amount of DLC. Then they released a second wave of DLC, but decided to call it the Creation Club content and artificially removed it from the definition of DLC. Meaning that they promised people at the onset, we will give you everything we made. And then they reneged on that promise, and they did so to their benefit or the detriment of the plaintiffs. So that’s where they did something wrong. They lied. They took money from gamers, and then they made more money.”
“It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. So it is DLC. They try to slap a sticker on it and call it Creation Club content to remove it from the purview of the people that had already bought the Season Pass. But that’s artificial in nature. And it’s part of the fraud.”
The lawsuit itself was actually filed in July 2019, but the reason it has now come up again is because the X-Law Group (the ones who filed the lawsuit) are concerned that Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda could mean the company will no longer need to take liability. So the law firm are calling for the court to temporarily suspend the acquisition until the lawsuit is resolved.
"What we’re going to try and do is go in and ask a judge to stop the sale between Microsoft and Bethesda to preserve the assets. And it’s known as a motion for preliminary injunction."
The law firm are seeking damages of up to $1 billion, and possibly even more. They're unsure of how many gamers purchased the Fallout 4 Season Pass based on that promise of access to all future content, but the law firm believes it could be in the millions.
What do you think? Is the lawsuit fair? Should Season Pass owners have had access to the Creation Club at no extra cost? Did you buy the Season Pass based on that promise? Let us know!