The makers of popular MMORPG Lineage II are facing a lawsuit accusing them of acting negligently by failing to warn a man that he could become addicted to the game, which he blames for making him “unable to function independently” and costing him 20,000 hours of his life.
The plaintiff in the case, an American resident of Hawaii, alleges he became addicted to Lineage II, squandering 20,000 hours playing the game in the 2004-2009 period.
So afflicted was he that he became “unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends,” he claims.
This was, he says, a direct result of the fact that maker NCsoft “acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct or adequately warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the safe and proper method of using the game.”
He maintains he would never have begun playing the game had he known it was so addictive. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Korean game maker NCsoft released the game in 2003 as a sequel to Lineage, a highly successful fantasy MMORPG much esteemed for its sexy dark elves. The sequel boasted over 600,000 subscribers at its peak, and still maintains a substantial following.
Lineage II was notorious even amongst MMORPG circles for having an exceptionally high “grind” factor, requiring vast investments of time in order to reach the higher levels.
The judge presiding has refused to dismiss the claims, although it is not clear whether the suit will make it to trial. NCsoft for its part has demanded the court dismiss the case.
Coming from the nation that pioneered the “hot things may burn you” warning label, all bets are off as to whether the case will go forward.