A class action lawsuit against the developer of Candy Crush will continue in Illinois federal court. According to the complaint, Candy Crush, a popular mobile game, entices users into sharing the game with Facebook friends in exchange for free “lives” (or plays) only to have those lives promptly deleted. The plaintiffs allege that the lives are valued at $0.20 each. The court rejected Candy Crush’s argument that failing to receive free lives does not constitute an “injury in fact,” and permitted breach of contract, unjust enrichment and state consumer protection claims to proceed. The plaintiff will, however, need to identify individuals who’ve lost free lives outside of Illinois in order for claims under any other state’s consumer protection laws to proceed. The Court dismissed the remaining claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
Takeaway: Companies that offer virtual items, plays, currency, skins, or other digital benefits to game players should pay special attention to this case, as it may suggest that game publishers are required to provide such items (even those with a nominal value) to players in the future.