Embracer Group just can't catch a break with all their shenanigans...
Star Wars aficionados find themselves in tumultuous waters as a class action lawsuit gains traction against Aspyr Media and Saber Interactive (Parent company Embracer Group), the entities behind the beloved game "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords" (KOTOR 2).
This lawsuit stems from the discontentment around the cancellation of the much-anticipated Restored Content Mod for KOTOR 2 on Switch. This development is based on a tip from "The Gamer" and it exposes the fans' disgruntlement and the unresolved matters in the gaming industry.
Background: KOTOR 2, which had been ported to Switch last year, found itself rejuvenated, especially with the announced availability of the Restored Content Mod as DLC, promising an enhanced experience of this classic RPG. I covered it in a video for your viewing pleasure here:
This restoration was looked upon as a beacon of completion for the game, which had areas of unfulfilled content across platforms due to its premature release. However, complications arose, and the DLC was unexpectedly cancelled, leaving fans and gamers in a state of disappointment.
The Lawsuit: The lingering dissatisfaction has propelled fans to instigate a class action lawsuit, represented in the case “Malachi Mickelonis v. Aspyr Media, Inc. et al”. They argue that the commitment to the Restored Content Mod was a substantial influence in their purchasing decision.
Some fans claimed that they postponed playing the game in anticipation of the added content. The plaintiffs, multiple fans represented by attorney Ray Kim, are seeking a jury trial, asserting that Aspyr and Saber Interactive have a legal obligation to provide refunds due to the unfulfilled promise of additional content. The defendants have been given a deadline of October 4 to respond.
Community Consensus: The predominant sentiment within the community is one of frustration and a sense of deception, with many fans feeling that the game should be played with the Restored Content Mod, even for first-timers. The content wasn’t perceived as extraneous, but rather as integral elements which were omitted owing to time limitations.
Industry Realities and Compensation: The gaming industry is no stranger to cancellations of games and in-game content. However, this prevalent occurrence doesn’t diminish the expectation of reliability and fulfillment of promises made by developers and publishers. In an attempt to assuage the disgruntled fans, Aspyr did extend an offer of a copy of KOTOR 2 on Steam or another Star Wars game, where the mod could be accessed free of charge. However, it is still in contention whether this act of compensation suffices or if it is deemed as falling short of the reparation expected by the fans.
The unfolding scenario around the KOTOR 2 DLC cancellation and the resultant lawsuit highlights the ever-present discord between fan expectations and industry practices. It underscores the impact of unmet promises on consumer trust and the consequential repercussions developers and publishers may face. Embracer Group clearly made the decision based on cost cuts and saving money from reeling from a lost deal, and in the process, ruined the reputation of their own companies (nothing new to them). They are reeling from financial turmoil and suffering the consequences:
It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will resolve and whether it will set a precedent in addressing similar discrepancies in the future, ensuring that fan expectations are not just acknowledged but duly met. The resolution of this case may well serve as a testament to the evolving relationship between game developers, publishers, and their consumer base, potentially shaping future interactions and commitments in the gaming industry.