A motion to dismiss filed late last week by Roblox Corporation argued that the minor plaintiff’s suit against it for failure to offer refunds to players under 18 in compliance with California law must be dismissed for a second and final time. In addition to substantive failures, Roblox pressed that the plaintiff’s “self-manufactured” lawsuit is still not ripe for adjudication.
The minor sued Roblox, operator of the Roblox Platform, “a virtual world built by players, for players,” this March. The plaintiff complained, on behalf of similarly situated California minors, that Roblox is required by law to allow minors to obtain refunds for purchases spent on “virtual experiences, games, and avatars.” The platform’s virtual currency is called Robux and is available through online vendors like Amazon.
At Roblox’s behest, the court ruled against the plaintiff, finding his suit unripe. Specifically, Judge Maxine M. Chesney found that the plaintiff had not actually sought a refund with Roblox and thus could not argue that it denied him one unfairly.
The minor filed an amended complaint last month, adding that asking for a refund would have been futile because the vendor he purchased his Robux through, Amazon, does not allow for returns of “Downloadable Software Products,” including his virtual currency.
In last week’s refreshed dismissal bid, Roblox said the plaintiff’s new allegations do not ripen his claims, as allegations about Amazon’s refund policy change nothing about Roblox’s policy or compliance therewith that minors can disaffirm contracts and receive a refund for those purchases.
“Absent Roblox acting contrary to its express policy (which is not alleged because it never happened), this case is still ‘dependent on contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all,’” the defendant wrote, quoting from the prior dismissal opinion. Roblox added that Judge Chesney was right to be skeptical about how the plaintiff could cure the defect and indeed, has not done so.
In addition, the motion launched a litany of arguments as to why the claims fall short in substance. Roblox said that the plaintiff’s claim for declaratory relief was defective for failure to plead both voidability and nullity. As to the California Unfair Competition Law claim, the defendant asserted that it has not engaged in unfair conduct and further that the plaintiff has no remedies available under the law.