A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Texas on behalf of gamers affected by Xbox Live problems in December. The suit, naming three Texans as lead plaintiffs, was filed a day after the company apologized for the glitches and said it would provide a free Xbox Live Arcade game in attempt to make up for them.
The suit alleges breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation. It says the amount at stake exceeds $5 million. Excerpts from the complaint:
In December 2007, XBOX Live crashed and prevented Plaintiffs around the world from accessing online play for several weeks. XBOX Live is Microsoft’s gaming membership that provides gamers to access Microsoft’s servers for online gaming. XBOX Live continues to deny subscribers access and has even issued apologies for their failure to correct server problems. Over eight (8) million gamers worldwide subscribe to XBOX Live.
Specifically, interruptions in game-play kicked many Plaintiffs offline of XBOX Live and displayed messages such as “Server Error.” Other Plaintiffs have been unable sign into XBOX Live at all or use the advertised features such as “match-make” or “account recovery,”despite paying for these services in their yearly subscription dues. Many Plaintiffs purchased new subscriptions specifically to play online during the holidays. In the last three months of 2007, Microsoft sold over four (4) million XBOX console units. This increase in console purchases led to a substantial increase in XBOX Live subscriptions. Microsoft knew the increase in subscriptions would increase game-play on its servers yet failed to provide adequate access and service to XBOX Live and its subscribers.
No official comment yet from Microsoft — a spokesman says the company learned of the suit only recently — but I’ll update this post if the company says more.