When Fallout 4 came out in 2015, the end-time RPG was a huge hit for Bethesda. Shortly before the release, the company announced a Season Pass that would allow players to receive any DLC that would come for the RPG for $ 30. Reportedly, several million players bought the pass. In 2017, Bethesda announced the Creation Club. The company also sold official addons for Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. These, however, weren't included in the Season Pass, leading to a class action lawsuit for misleading advertising. It could be as high as $ 1.1 billion or more, subject to closer scrutiny.
Will a lawsuit prevent Microsoft from buying Bethesda?
The class action accuses Bethesda of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, "breach of a promise even if there is no lawful contract", deceit or fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, the unlawful act resulting from the breach of contract, violation of the express warranty and violation of Maryland Consumer Protection Act. Bethesda defends itself by stating that the contents of the Creation Club are actually not DLCs but only addons.
The lawsuit has not yet been certified as a class action. There is only a disclosure phase. There are fears that Bethesda would like to get out of the affair with Microsoft's purchase by handing over all of the company's assets to Microsoft and in the end only an "empty shell" of Bethesda is left. It is also conceivable that Bethesda has hardly any assets, which would make the lawsuit null and void. Therefore, steps are currently being examined to block Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda for the time being.
If the parties do not come to an out-of-court agreement beforehand, a negotiation would be possible in 2022. The question arises as to whether Microsoft would still be interested in buying Bethesda if the lawsuit goes through and billions in additional costs are incurred.
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