Investigation and a consumer class action against Harmonix, Electronic Arts ("EA") and MTV -- the makers of the video game "Rock Band" for fraudulently marketing and improperly inducing consumers into purchasing the interactive video game when the companies knew that consumers who owned Sony PlayStation 3 ("PS3") game consoles would be unable to play the game with four players because there was no second guitar controller in the Rock Band bundle, no compatible guitar controllers were available to the PS3 owners (because they had not obtained permission from Activision, Inc. ("Activision") for use of Guitar Hero III guitars with the Rock Band game), and because Defendants had not manufactured any stand alone guitar controllers for purchase by consumers.
The companies' conduct in the sale of Rock Band was deceptive, misleading and improper, as Rock Band was marketed to consumers when it was known that purchasers with PS3 consoles would not be able to play the game with four players, as marketed and advertised. The companies' misconduct allowed them to reap millions of dollars in profit at the expense of Plaintiff and the Class. Defendants also sold a defectively designed product. The companies relied on their position of trust as the developers of Guitar Hero to lure customers into the purchase of game that could not be played as advertised. As a result of the companies' actions, consumers have been forced to either purchase a second bundle (which also includes the game itself, one guitar controller, a drum set and a microphone) in order to have the proper equipment or to wait indefinitely for the eventual availability of stand alone, compatible guitar controllers. Consumers have been unable to play the Rock Band game as advertised, absent this significant additional investment of time and money.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. develops video games, most notably the Rock Band video game.
Electronic Arts Inc.
Electronic Arts, Inc. develops, markets, publishes, and distributes video game software and content.
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