FTC Approves Final Order Against SCEA

Back in November 2014 during a court case, SCEA agreed to pay PS Vita consumers a small settlement for telling them lies prior to the devices release, here is what the FTC had a problem with:

FTC Approves Final Order Against SCEA

The FTC’s complaint against Sony charges the company with making false claims about the PS Vita’s “cross platform gaming” or “cross-save” feature. Sony claimed, for example, that PS Vita users could pause any PS3 game at any time and continue to play the game on their PS Vita from where they left off. This feature, however, was only available for a few PS3 games, and the pause-and-save capability described in the ads varied significantly from game to game. For example, with respect to “MLB 12: The Show,” consumers could only save the game to the PS Vita after finishing the entire nine-inning game on their PS3. In addition, Sony failed to inform consumers that to use this feature, purchasers had to buy two versions of the same game – one for their PS3 and one for the PS Vita.

The FTC’s complaint also alleges that Sony’s PS Vita ads falsely implied that consumers who owned the 3G version of the device (which cost an extra $50 plus monthly fees) could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network. In fact, consumers could not engage in live, multiplayer gaming.

The complaint further alleges that Sony also falsely claimed that with the “remote play” feature, PS Vita users could easily access their PS3 games on their handheld consoles. In reality, most PS3 games were not remote playable on the PS Vita. Sony also misled consumers by falsely claiming that PS Vita users could remotely play the popular PS3 game, Killzone 3, on the PS Vita. In fact, Sony never enabled remote play on its Killzone 3 game title, and very few, if any, PS3 games of similar size and complexity were remote playable on the PS Vita.

The FTC’s complaint against Deutsch LA charges the company with similarly misleading consumers through ads that it created touting the PS Vita’s cross-platform gaming and 3G features.

The Commission also alleges that Deutsch LA misled consumers with deceptive product endorsements for the PS Vita. Specifically, the agency used the term “#gamechanger” in its ads to direct consumers to online conversations about Sony’s console on Twitter. About a month before the gaming console was launched, one of Deutsch LA’s assistant account executives sent a company-wide email to staff asking them to help with the ad campaign by posting comments about the PS Vita on Twitter and using the same “#gamechanger” hashtag, according to the complaint.

In response to the company-wide email, various Deutsch LA employees posted positive tweets about the PS Vita to their personal Twitter accounts, without disclosing their connection to Deutsch or Sony, the FTC alleged. The FTC has charged that the tweets were misleading, as they did not reflect the views of actual consumers who had used the PS Vita, and because they did not disclose that they were written by employees of Deutsch LA.

Source

Today the FTC approved final orders against both companies, here is a quote from the source:

In the FTC’s order with Sony, it is barred from making misleading advertising claims about the features or attributes of its handheld gaming consoles in the future. Under the order, Sony will provide consumers who bought a PS Vita gaming console before June 1, 2012, either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 merchandise voucher for select video games, and/or services.

The FTC’s order with Deutsch LA bars it from making similar misrepresentations as Sony, and bars misrepresentations that an endorser of any game console product or video game product is an independent user or ordinary consumer of the product. It also requires the agency to disclose a material connection, where one exists, between any endorser of a game console product or video game product and Deutsch LA or other entity involved in the manufacture or marketing of the product.

Source

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GregoryRasputin