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Lawfirm considers false advertising suit over Diablo Immortal

Nerfed effects of legendary gem as it levels up is a bait-and-switch on consumers, says Migliaccio & Rathod LLP

A lawfirm specializing in class-action suits is looking into a potential case against Activision Blizzard for false advertising in Diablo Immortal.

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP says the "Blessing of the Worthy" legendary gem changes its effect in detrimental ways to the player is it is leveled up.

The firm says that at level two, the gem has a chance to deal damage equal to the player's maximum health whenever the player is injured. But at level three, that switches to damage equal to the player's current health.

It adds the gem is available in bundles that can cost more than $100.

"Rather than offer refunds or some form of compensation, Blizzard has instead responded to the Blizzard community by stating that they will change the item’s text description to reflect its actual effect, at level three," the firm said.

"This practice essentially amounts to a bait-and-switch, since a purchasable item was advertised with one effect that players wanted and ended up with something completely different."

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP also thanked the Communication Workers of America union for bringing the matter to its attention.

The CWA and Activision Blizzard have been butting heads in recent years, with the union organizing QA staffers at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany over the publisher's objections.

Beyond simply dragging out the process of organizing, Activision Blizzard has also been found to have crossed the line in its efforts to prevent unionization, illegally threatening workers for discussing wages and working conditions, and enforcing a social media policy that violated employees' rights.

Most recently, the CWA obtained enough signed union cards from staff at Blizzard's Proletariat Studios to form a union across the entire studio, but Activision Blizzard is refusing to recognize the union, saying it wants a formal vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.