Gaming app developer AviaGames is facing a class-action lawsuit that alleges it paired players with bots and not always real users. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Big money at stake Gaming app developer AviaGames is facing a class-action lawsuit regarding some of its creations. The San Francisco-based company, which has titles like Pocket7Games, Solitaire Clash and Bingo Tour as part of its stable, claims that its offerings are games of skill and allow people to pit themselves against another players for real money.
alleging that AviaGames was populating the action with unbeatable bots
Plaintiffs in the case, though, claim that this is not actually true, alleging that AviaGames was populating the action with unbeatable bots. The suit outlines how users “wagered hundreds of millions of dollars” against what the developer claimed to be other real people. The complaint says that these bots “can impact or control the outcome” of games and as a result they are in fact manipulated games of chance and hence a form of illegal gambling.
Possible bot usage coming to light The plaintiffs in the case allege racketeering and fraud and want to bring anyone else who played these titles into the class action.
The usage of bots came to light as a result of ongoing copyright and patent infringement lawsuits against AviaGames from one of its main competitors, Skillz Games. It claimed that the reason why AviaGames can almost instantly get players into games is because they use bots to fill them. This compares to Skillz users who sometimes need to wait as long as 15 minutes to get paired with a real human user, which has a knock-on effect of market share loss to AviaGames.
Fighting the allegations A US district judge ruled in the patent case that internal communications among AviaGames executives suggest the possible use of bots. Skillz has gotten permission to access certain communications between AviaGames and its lawyers regarding the matter.
Games from AviaGames and Skillz Games bypass gambling laws as their products are skill-based and resemble classic board games. Nine US states do prohibit skill game apps from taking real money player deposits.
An AviaGames spokesperson last month hand-waved suggestions that the company has used bots, saying that the claims are baseless and the company is confident that it will prove so through legal proceedings.