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SEGA Sued For Allegedly Intentionally Rigging Arcade Game Against Players
By Alexa Heah, 21 Jul 2021
Image via Ned Snowman / Shutterstock.com
A class-action lawsuit was filed this week against SEGA’s Key Master arcade game, with allegations that the game is intentionally rigged against players.
The suit, filed in California, said Key Master was touted as a game of “pure skill,” but instead has been designed to “prevent even highly-skilled users from being able to win” until they surpass a pre-set number of losses.
According to Insider, the plaintiff, Marcelo Muto, is suing SEGA for US$5 million in compensation. The game can be found in arcades across the US, with players having to hit a button in order to move a key into specific keyholes, allowing them to win prizes such as earphones and other video games.
Muto alleges that even if a player were to move the key into a specific keyhole for a prize, if it isn’t past the pre-determined number of losses, the arcade game will still cause the player to lose. While there are videos on YouTube with tips on how to beat the game, the comments often echo Muto’s issue.
The plaintiff’s lawyers are arguing that each machine is pre-set to lose 700 times before a win is allowed. They added that the equipment could be configured individually to set any number of losses before enabling players to win.
While Key Master is no longer featured on SEGA’s website, the company has released a similar game named Prize Locker , which was also marketed as a “100% skill-based game.”
“Nowhere on the Key Master machine do Defendants inform consumers of the truth: that the machines are rigged so that players can only win prizes at certain times,” the lawsuit said.
This isn’t the first time Sega is facing a lawsuit pertaining to Key Master, either. As per Tucson.com, in 2019, a vendor settled a US$1 million lawsuit over the same game in Arizona, after it was set up to only allow a win after 2,000 attempts, which made it more akin to a chance-based game, only allowed in the state’s casinos.
For more information, check out the full lawsuit here.
[via Insider, cover image via Ned Snowman / Shutterstock.com]
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