World of Warcraft target of latest suit from PSN plaintiff

San Jose man adds Activision Blizzard to growing list of courtroom opponents, takes issue with MMOG fees, alleges ill effects on mental health, seeks $1 million.

After being banned from Sony's PlayStation Network during a game of Resistance: Fall of Man, a San Jose, California gamer sued the electronics giant, alleging a violation of his First Amendment rights. That case was dismissed in September, but the plaintiff was undeterred. In addition to filing in an appeal in that case, earlier this month he filed a new suit against Microsoft and Nintendo. In that case, he alleged that a broken Xbox 360 caused him undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue happiness.

Are the normal World of Warcraft fees any worse than those of the World of Warcraft Visa card?

With the big-three platform holders accounted for, the same plaintiff is now turning his attention to largest third-party publisher. The gamer, Erik Estavillo, provided GameSpot with copies of his latest civil suit, a case against Activision Blizzard filed this morning in the Santa Clara County Superior Court of California. A court clerk confirmed for GameSpot that the suit had been filed.

The suit comprises a handful of complaints against Activision Blizzard, specifically relating to the company's successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, the gamer accuses the publisher of maintaining a "harmful virtual environment" with "sneaky and deceitful practices."

He first takes exception to the game's $14.99 monthly subscription fee, calling it the highest of any MMORPG. He contends the fee is aggravated by the game requiring players to travel great distances at a slow walking or running pace, with fast travel options like teleportation stones and mounts only available to gamers who rise to an advanced level or purchase the game's expansion packs.

He also cited the game's resurrection process, in which players travel in spirit from cemeteries back to the spots where they died in order to revive themselves, as an unnecessary part of the game designed to cost gamers money. Other fees at issue include the charges (up to $25) Blizzard levies to change their characters' names, races, factions, or servers.

Beyond the monetary complaints, the suit also references the 2001 suicide of an EverQuest player, attributing it to a sense of alienation related to the game and mental health problems. The suit goes on to say the plaintiff has suffered from similar problems, including major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and Crohn's disease, and he "doesn't want to end up like [the EverQuest player] did as he relies on video games heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life, via the gaming medium."

In addition to the suit, the plaintiff also wants a pair of celebrities to attest to the effects of alienation. The gamer is subpoenaing Depeche Mode's Martin Lee Gore "since he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes." He is also calling Winona Ryder to testify, saying the actress' appreciation for Catcher in the Rye will make her a relevant witness "to how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real live [sic]/video games such as World of Warcraft."

The gamer is asking for $1 million in punitive damages and a court order forcing Activision Blizzard to address the problems alleged in the suit. As of press time, representatives with Activision and Blizzard had not returned GameSpot's requests for comment.

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Discussion

955 comments
Lach0121
Lach0121

@HarlequinMk19 Grow up, little one.

SpiritHex
SpiritHex

No free money for you kid with your lawsuit! Try getting a job instead!

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

To this kid: If you don't like having a broken 360, then have it repaired or get a new console you dumbf***

notorious98
notorious98

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. "Broken XBox 360 caused him undue stress." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Blizzard and Activision hadn't responded yet because they were still laughing about it.

pheonixphire
pheonixphire

Yes, shut up and go play on an rp server. Accept that it takes over your life, enjoy it.

cubeace6
cubeace6

what a douchebag, moron must play on a pvp server

Vorodor21
Vorodor21

This guys is nothing more then a money grubbing attention whore. Someone needs to track him down and beat him over the head with something heavy and blunt. Gamespot should stop posting "news" about him as it only urges the douche bag on.

truthbetold101
truthbetold101

jonanderson2020 i personally am loving this situation, i mean.... he's makn a complete a** out of himself and its hilarious! i hope he keeps this up. who knows, mabee he's sue activision for sueing ea on brutal ledgend haha. besides, if nothing god comes out of him suing everyone, at least we had conversation right =)

jonanderson2020
jonanderson2020

I just thought I would say that I have Crohn's disease and I will say it does alienate you to some extent, and alot of time you can fell sick to the extent that you can't exercise or even go out side, you can also spend a lot of time spewing your guys out. It's not a pleasant thing to have. But that in no way means that you can't cope with it without being whiny and filing law suits against every one. If he doesn't like the game he is playing , DO SOMETHING ELSE, I personally like playing most games. When I pick a game and Buy it I always READ THE BOX so I know what game I'm going to be playing. If you buy a First person Shooter don't complain that all you do is shoot things, Don't buy a driving game if you don't like Driving. So First and Foremost I would say TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISIONS. If you buy an Apple don't complain that you only like Oranges.

mynameisGavin
mynameisGavin

Studies show that exercise helps counter the effects of depression and anxiety. There is an easy fix to half of his problems.

Haeravon
Haeravon

If gaming causes this man so much stress, depression, and discontent, he should just stop playing games. It's not like he's a slave, and he's being forced to do something he doesn't like. He pays for the privilage to play these games and use these electronics. If you don't like something, you find something else to do. You don't go watch a movie, and then sue the studio because it didn't entertain you in the way you wanted it to. He's not asking for these companies to redress an injury, he's trying to get them to dance like monkeys for his personal amusement. They do not exist to cater to your demands, they exist to create for general consumption a means of electronic entertainment. If there is a game, movie, or console I don't like, I don't BUY it, and I certainly dont SUE because it doesn't appeal to me.

goku8565
goku8565

seriously, this joke of a human made my day. Probably one of the funniest things I've seen someone take legal action over. Think of how much money he is spending on these lawsuits when that money should be going to professional help. I'm generally not someone who supports suicide, but if this man ended up like the "Everquest Kid" then I really wouldn't complain too much.

k_vang84
k_vang84

This guy seriously needs to get a real life.. I would have to say he 'Fails' at Life and is just looking for ways to justify his own problems he created by trying to sue the these companies. I do hope Blizzard wins against him and he seeks therapy instead of using games mainly has an "ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life, via the gaming medium." Some of his points about WoW are true and annoying; however, Blizzard put those in for a reason. If he didn't like them.. he should of stopped playing. He does not deserve to win this case. It's a waste of 1 mil that could be used towards better developing and improving the games instead of wasting it on him.

TimmyNude
TimmyNude

"In that case, he alleged that a broken Xbox 360 caused him undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue happiness. " I guess I could see how it's uncool of those companies to do those things, and with the little WoW I've played, I think the World of Warcraft setup is sketchy and I'm surprised by how little innovation there is considering all the money they ask for, but that's why I don't pay for it. He makes some points, I guess, but I'd rather it lead to the companies being better without paying this guy 1 mil.

Overlord_Meril
Overlord_Meril

Doesn't this guy have something more constructive to do? Like... See a freaking therapist? Holy man...

jb511
jb511

"he relies on video games heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life" I think that about sums up this poor individual. Don't get me wrong I love games but there is a lot more out there than whats in a box.

SilenceSD
SilenceSD

This guy needs to be punched in the mouth. Really, REALLY hard.

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

It's no long jack tompson trying to get what he can from the games industry now it's cry babys who can't win at games

xCaLLeNisH
xCaLLeNisH

I know the economy is bad and all, but seriously... this is ridiculous. He obviously has no work ethics and doesn't plan on learning any in his lifetime. Just because he's mentally ill doesn't mean everyone else is. What a waste of life. It's almost as bad as having kids to increase your welfare check.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

What person in their right mind would take these cases seriously. The only thing serious about all of this is the fact that he really does need some professional help.

payne6705
payne6705

argg hes still around doing this? I could have swore this case would have been dropped sooner than this but it keeps growing this is a waste of time he should go to jail or pay a fine for wasting the court's time and wasting valuable tax money

rebornblood
rebornblood

Souns like somebody needs to get out more people like this suck

battleblade
battleblade

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Illianthar
Illianthar

Sounds to me like the guy is using the publicity he's getting from these civil suits to address one of his many psychoses. I'm sure he's the one that wanted his name posted in the article. Negative attention is still attention.

Wolf_BladeGX
Wolf_BladeGX

If he is so dependent on video games for his happiness, then he needs to reevaluate his priorities.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

"The gamer, Erik Estavillo, provided GameSpot with copies of his latest civil suit, a case against Activision Blizzard" i loled, why the hell does Gamespot want to post this guys ****? are Gamespot retarded or something? oh wait... they seems that they are, lets hope MS, Sony, Nintendo, Activision and Blizzard sues Erik and Gamespot! stupidity should get punished!

Cabal23
Cabal23

This guy is a TROLL in real life. A real life in the flesh troll that he will be laughed out of court. I hope he has disposable income to support this lawsuit because those companies do.

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

This guy's a jack***. "He alleged that a broken Xbox 360 caused him undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue happiness." That means he plays video games all the time, and has no life at all. I guess I'll sue Microsoft because vista was the worst operating system. I guess I'll sue my teacher for giving me a lot of homework. I guess I'll sue my dog for biting me. I guess I'll sue God because I got the Flu. PS:I don't see how you can complain about the death system in WoW, it's pretty fair. In fact, it's much better than loosing ur stuff.

sgt-hawkins
sgt-hawkins

i think that the companies involved should sue him for being a pain in the ass

DeMoN_SouL_666
DeMoN_SouL_666

looks like this dude want to go for a law suit spree... "maintaining a "harmful virtual environment" " well, if u see it "harmful" just don't play it for god's sake! that dude clearly didn't play Manhunt or Prototype or he will really file a law suit to shutdown both companies, not just to address the problems the suit was about... now this guy really gives me the laugh i need

emeraldhillzone
emeraldhillzone

He's doing it for a laugh and some kind of attempt of celebrity status... why else would he do this: "The gamer, Erik Estavillo, provided GameSpot with copies of his latest civil suit," - clearly just looking for some press

thrubeingcool13
thrubeingcool13

This is some elaborate hoax. It has to be. That's the only explanation for Gore and Ryder testifying.

Erebus
Erebus

Do YOU have $55? Well then, you can sue anyone for anything! Try it!

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

America, my home country, and the one of the few, if not the only one, where dumbasses link their problems to video games or something else, sue someone, and possibly get a crap load of money.

Ra-Devil
Ra-Devil

I wanna meet this person and talk philosophy with them. Just talk. After hearing what he has to say about life and gaming, I'd nod politely, then beat the crap out of him. It wouldn't matter if he had something thoughtful to say, or if he was even slightly right in some sense, you don't get to walk away from this without some kind of consequence.

thrasher510
thrasher510

Business is business, and dumb-asses are dumb-asses.

duraxx
duraxx

His case against sony was dismissed. So will this one. I wonder how this guy comes up with the money to pursue idiotic and obvious fail lawsuits.

jaynice5886
jaynice5886

i really dont kno how express how ppl like this guy make the rest of us look as a human race.

gamer_marrik
gamer_marrik

What a scrub. He chose to play WoW. Its his own fault. I should sue my school for making me nervous to give presentations and bored for 6+ hours a day. Im sure someone could invent some disease associated with my "symptoms" too. :P

AFWorm
AFWorm

That's just silly

shivLasers
shivLasers

Who the hell is Martin Lee Gore?

McDog3
McDog3

The human race continues to amaze me in ways i'd rather not be amazed.

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

My history teacher has a sign on the wall this guy should read: No Whining.