After a Russian 28-year-old man lost his wife and job, said man decided that legal action is required. So, Fallout 4’s developer is sued for causing video game addiction. It’s safe to say that this lawsuit will not go very far.
Fallout 4 is an immense open-world RPG, a new installment in the popular game franchise Fallout. Even if the game was hyped beyond belief, it didn’t really hold up to expectations, in a manner similar to other over-hyped games. Fallout 4’s switched gears, going for a more First Person Shooter approach rather than retaining its deep Role Playing Game systems from previous games. True, it is the best shooter from the Fallout series, but it is by far one of the worst RPGs in said franchise as well. This fact was not viewed in a positive manner by both gamers and game critics alike, leaving the game rather behind when compared to other open-world RPGs like Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Bethesda, the developer of the game, is asked to pay $7.000 for emotional distress after the man opted to play the game instead of going to work or spending time with his family following a 3-week binge. He blames all of this on the game’s addictive nature, constantly rummaging for loot or spending hours running aimlessly through the wasteland. But the game doesn’t force you o wander said wasteland. Users can finish the main storyline in about 23 hours. If you want to take a completionist route, you can basically see everything the game has to offer in an average of 300 hours, if you go about it in an extremely leisurely manner.
What is rather surprising is the fact that Fallout 4 is not entirely the peak of time-wasting games, and even his alleged time spent with the game, a couple of hundred hours, is not that high when compared to people who spent thousands in Skyrim. Not to mention online games, with World of Warcraft players spending more time in-game than interacting with others, opting to play for over 10 hours each day, without even considering going outside or other similar activities. And that type of gaming doesn’t go on week-long binges, it takes years.
A similar case was brought to court in 2010, when a Hawaiian citizen accused Lineage 2’s producer, NCSoft, for similar reasons stemming from video game addiction. The case was completely dismissed with prejudice. If the person in question knows he has an addictive personality or that he has to go to work on a regular basis, it’s not the game developer’s fault that he chooses to do the exact opposite and spend his time playing.
Even if Fallout 4’s developer is sued for causing video game addiction, Bethesda has nothing to worry about. Besides being a clause which doesn’t actually hold in the court of law, Russia doesn’t particularly approve when resolving judicial matters between foreign companies and normal consumers in regards to moral damage. Only time will tell if the Russian man will get his $7.000, but the odds of his wife and job coming back are currently not very high.