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An attempt by two gamers to sue Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive over Grand Theft Auto 5's multiplayer component GTA Online has failed. The U.S. District Court in California threw out their case earlier this week.
Bruce McMahon and Christopher Bengtson filed the lawsuit against Take-Two on October 4th. In their complaint, they alleged that the company had falsely advertised GTA 5 as having multiplayer on launch. GTA Online went live on October 1st, two weeks after GTA 5 debuted on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Philips pointed out that the game's box doesn't mention immediate multiplayer. She also noted that the box warns that some features, including online play, "may not be available to all users." For these reasons, she granted Take-Two's notions to dismiss the lawsuit.
Rockstar had also announced prior to GTA 5's launch that the multiplayer wouldn't be available right away. I don't doubt that some players didn't hear about this but there's only so much that the company could do to alert people to this fact. I don't think people should be entitled to a payout just because someone didn't do their homework before buying the game. I'm sure that two-week wait was agonizing but it sure wasn't "here, rub this pile of money on your wound" agonizing.
If anything, Rockstar probably should've waited longer to release GTA Online. It was a complete mess at launch. The servers couldn't handle the influx of players and bugs preventing the lucky few who could play from progressing. The sorry state of the game for weeks after release seems like a better (though still kind of frivolous) reason to sue.
GTA 5 is a lawsuit magnet. In October, Rapper Daz Dillinger accused Rockstar of using two songs he produced without permission. Part-time actress and full-time headcase Lindsay Lohan threatened legal action because one character sorta looks like her.
Why does everyone want to sue Rockstar? It's probably due, in part, to the huge sales of GTA 5. The game has sold close to 30 million copies to date and could bring in another $100 million per year thanks to GTA Online. If you're that conspicuously wealthy, someone's going to try and find a way to take some of that money for themselves.