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Microsoft's Bethesda Acquisition Could Be Delayed By Incoming Lawsuit

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Microsoft's Bethesda Acquisition Could Be Delayed By Incoming Lawsuit

Bethesda and ZeniMax Media are embroiled in a class-action lawsuit surrounding Fallout 4's DLC, and as a result, this legal entanglement may well delay the acquisition of the companies by Microsoft.

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Two years ago, the X-Law Group filed a lawsuit against Bethesda regarding the marketing of Fallout 4's Season Pass DLC (containing the content packs Automatron, Wasteland Workshop and Far Harbor). In its description, it assured that players would "get the Fallout 4 Season Pass and get all Fallout 4 DLC for one S.P.E.C.I.A.L. price." However, the introduction of Creation Club complicated things for those who bought the add-on based on that statement. Creation Club, featuring new items, abilities, and mechanics developed by Bethesda and other studios, wasn't included in the Season Pass and X-Law Group claims that "millions" of players were swindled by Bethesda in one fell swoop.

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"I bought the first season pass, and I was like, cool. That'll give me all access for the rest of the game, right," said one player in an interview with GamesBeat. "Then they dropped that new batch. I'll go check it out, just to find out I had no access at all. And I had to buy another season pass basically to have access to it. I was just disappointed. I felt like I was ripped off." Today, the lawyers have allegedly filed discovery documents, which may well mean that Microsoft won't be able to carry out its acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda if the sale transforms its assets into a new legal entity. Therefore, if the lawsuit makes it into the courtroom, the dispute may not be ironed out until 2022, throwing one hefty wrench into Microsoft's intentions for Bethesda's various properties.

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"What we're going to try and do is go in and ask a judge to stop the sale between Microsoft and Bethesda to preserve the assets," said the X-Law Group. "It's known as a motion for preliminary injunction." The legal team accused the company of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, deceit or fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, and tort arising out of breach of contract, to name but a handful of the infractions. Bethesda has responded, and apparently explained that Creation Club isn't categorised as DLC and so isn't counted within the Season Pass.

Fallout 4 / Credit: Bethesda
Fallout 4 / Credit: Bethesda

Would that it were so simple. The lawsuit is seeking $1.1 billion in damages, and that might increase if punitive damages are included. It is theorised that it would be unlikely for the case to get into the courtroom owing to this eye-watering sum, and the conflict could be remediated if the Creation Club content was unlocked for those who bought the Season Pass. It's all up in the air at the moment though, and we'll be sure to update this story should there be another development.

Featured Image Credit: Bethesda, Microsoft

Topics: News, Fallout, Bethesda

Imogen Donovan
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