With Rock Band 2 selling like hotcakes, and receiving favorable reviews, you would think the companies responsible would be jumping for joy. I’m sure they were too, enjoying a room full of cash and hands packed with Cognac. Now though? Well, it looks like they may have a little bit of cold water thrown on them to sober ’em up. A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the US District court of Northern California against the big three responsible for the game: Harmonix, MTV Games, and publishing partner EA.
The class-action suit contends that “due to a design defect, the bass drum foot pedal (which is an integral component of the Rock Band drum kit) fractures under ordinary and expected usage, thus rendering the pedal inoperative. Without a functioning bass drum foot pedal, consumers are unable to use the Rock Band drum kit or play the Rock Band game in the manner marketed and advertised by defendants.” A little confused? Well you would be if you didn’t know the background of problems the original Rock Band had at launch.
When Rock Band was first released to the masses in 2007, it wasn’t all smiling unicorns and rainbows. Many gamers reported faulty instruments, including the fragile kick pedal to the revolutionary drum kit. Naturally, Harmonix had a warranty in place that would replace those wonky instruments. Hell, they even expanded the warranty past its 60-day restriction, and offered new instruments well into 2008. However, the company immediately changed direction in June, stating that they would no longer replace instruments that are out of their 60-day warranty period. This action prompted the lawsuit, which was filed by Monte Morgan on behalf of those with wonky (love that word) instruments. Basically the suit contends that the creators are in violation of an implied warranty that Rock Band instruments were “fit” to play. That’s the story in a nutshell.
No word from Harmonix yet, but we’ll keep our eyes open. In the meantime..don’t break your pedal.