Trial date set in PhantomLord vs Twitch lawsuit - Dexerto

Trial date set in PhantomLord vs Twitch lawsuit

Published: 15/Jul/2020 13:47 Updated: 15/Jul/2020 14:51

by Richard Lewis


Following a brief hiatus in proceedings due to the ongoing safety protocols around the Covid-19 outbreak, the important dates in the ongoing lawsuits between streamer James ‘Phantoml0rd’ Varga and Twitch have now been agreed upon and submitted to court.

Documents signed by Judge Karnow of the Superior Court of California show that a trial date has been set for October 19th of this year.

The road leading to trial has been a long one. Varga was banned from the streaming platform in July 2016 following Skype logs being leaked to the public that showed he owned and ran the CS:GO skins gambling site CSGOShuffle that he would broadcast his playing sessions of. His involvement with the site had never been disclosed.

The same logs also showed an overwhelming amount of detailed discussion about the workings of the site and him conspiring with the coder to place favorable bets with foreknowledge of the outcome. Twitch, as is in line with its policy, has never publicly issued a statement as to the reason for his ban.

Phantomlord taking a selfie photo.
Twitter: PhantomL0rd
Phantomlord was initially banned from Twitch in 2016.

Varga brought the suit against Twitch on February 14, 2018, with Twitch then filing a cross-complaint against the gaming personality. Varga’s counsel have argued that Twitch violated a number of contractual agreements and that in banning him from the platform, and making him a “scapegoat” they had caused his brand irreparable harm for which he must be compensated.

Twitch’s counter-complaint claimed Varga’s actions had caused their platform reputational damage and that he had breached the covenant of good faith by utilizing their platform for what they view as potentially nefarious purposes.

A large part of the reason that it took so long to get to trial was the legal maneuvering around a clause in the contract between Varga and Twitch, one that if upheld would have capped his potential damages at just $50,000, well below the amount of $35 million that Varga himself has said he is seeking.

In December last year, the court ruled that the clause was substantively unconscionable with the judge stating that “from a practical point of view… limiting recovery to $50,000 virtually kills off the odds of a suit against Twitch at all. The agreement doesn’t appear to have an attorney fees clause, and few – if any – lawyers would take on a contingency case against Twitch for some reasonable percentage of $50,000. The cap is unconscionable.”

Even with the trial date set there are still set to be a lot of important arguments made before the trial begins. Twitch is poised to submit a motion for summary judgment any day now, with opposition to any motions set to be issued on August 17th. Depending on the rulings on those the trial could take on a very different complexion.

That motion for summary judgment is set to be sizeable. Twitch had to file a motion to request an extension to the document that under normal circumstances would be limited to just 20 pages under California’s rules of court 3.1113(d). It has now been approved that it can be extended to 25 pages to enable Twitch to make sufficient arguments around their requests.

 Dexerto will update you as the matter proceeds.

Call of Duty

Warzone boosts Activision microtransactions to over $1 billion in 3 months

Published: 30/Oct/2020 0:54

by Isaac McIntyre


Activision Blizzard has confirmed Warzone is indeed the mammoth money-maker everyone was always expecting it to be; the ever-growing Modern Warfare battle royale boosted the Call of Duty publisher’s total Q3 2020 earnings to $1.77 billion, including $1.2 billion in microtransactions.

Activision Blizzard, the overseers in charge of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, shattered expectations when they unveiled their Q3 2020 earnings on Oct. 29. The publisher made $1.77 billion over the past three months.

Much of that, Dexerto can confirm the publishers revealed in an investors call on Thursday, was due to the popularity of Warzone. The new Modern Warfare battle royale has gone from strength to strength since its mega-sized release on March 10 earlier this year.

According to Activision in the call, Warzone alone was responsible for bringing in a $773m slice of the total $1.7b sum. Modern Warfare sales also added to the haul.

Activision’s Blizzard arm also raked in a hefty chunk of the Q3 profits. Hearthstone and World of Warcraft ⁠— which is just four weeks from its next expansion ⁠— made $411m. Finally, King’s mobile juggernaut ‘Candy Crush’ dominated with $536m.

Warzone’s dominance in the past eight months comes as no surprise. Recently, the Call of Duty battle royale overtook genre leader Fortnite as the most popular free-to-play title on the market for teen gamers, according to Yahoo Finance.

This has translated directly into Activision’s financial success. 

The publishers reported close to two-thirds of Warzone players either owned the full Modern Warfare title, or purchased the 2019 game’s multiplayer and campaign after playing.

“What we’ve seen with Call of Duty is an amazing transformation,” Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard, said. “The phenomenon we had with Warzone is so many people are buying the premium Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.”

Call of Duty microtransactions were also four times higher thanks to Warzone.

Warzone fired Activision's Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.
Infinity Ward
Warzone fired Activision’s huge Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.

In raw numbers, this has led to a huge 38% increase in revenue year on year, or a $490 million spike between Q3 2019 and the new Q3 2020 earnings.

“Warzone has really become an incredible addition to the franchise. It’s a central place where we can connect the entire Call of Duty community,” Kotick continued.

“I think maintaining that tight connection to the game is really important, especially for players who want to check out everything Call of Duty has to offer. You saw that with Modern Warfare. We plan to continue that into the future.”

Activision is banking on Warzone's momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.
Activision is banking on Warzone’s momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty has always been a juggernaut seller in the gaming community. It is now expected to continue its momentum into Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War early next month.

Black Ops Cold War will launch on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on Nov. 13 with all three connected via crossplay. World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Shadowlands, is also finally set to drop soon after, on Monday, Nov. 23.