Evony Vs Bruce Everiss. The result

Rather than write this myself, it has been written up much better than I could ever do by a professional journalist here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/mar/31/evony-libel-case-bruce-everiss

I have many people to thank.

My legal team in Australia from Marque Lawyers: Damian Sturzaker, Hannah Petrie and Sally Kerridge. They are absolutely brilliant and I unreservedly recommend them to anyone needing legal help in Australia.

My barristers did a fantastic job in court. They are Dr Andrew Bell and Sandy Dawson. A formidable combination.

All this was only possible because of the great friendly advice I received from Danvers Baillieu at Winston & Strawn in London. He has been a pillar throughout these difficult months.

Gillian Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services at the Guardian, has been fantastic throughout. Her practical day to day knowledge of being in my position was priceless. She gave me much real world advice.

Mark Gerhard, CEO of Jagex, has been massively supportive throughout. His testimony to the court helped enormously.

The press have been very wary of reporting about anything with pending litigation. However two notable exceptions have been John “wardrox” at Negative Gamer and Michael Thompson at Ars Technica.

Finally I would like to thank the many people who work or who worked on the Evony game who have contacted me, from China and from the West, often at personal risk, to give me the information you have seen reported here.

It has been a very difficult 8 months or so. But all along I could take comfort and strength from the support of those named above and my family. And the knowledge that I had only reported the truth.

My thanks once again.

81 comments ↓

#1 Vex on 03.31.10 at 1:24 pm

Told you on Twitter already, but here again – congratulations, Bruce! I’ve been following the whole situation since July with dread fascination. The implications had Evony actually won any significant victory would have been very scary indeed.

Thank you for putting up the fight and not letting yourself be scared into submission.

#2 Matty J on 03.31.10 at 1:34 pm

:D Well done Bruce!

#3 Arkenor on 03.31.10 at 1:36 pm

Great news! Now we can get on with getting stuck into their pestilential antics with a bit less worry about their frivolous lawsuits.

#4 Justin Keeling on 03.31.10 at 1:48 pm

Brilliant – well done Bruce. You took on a classic big bullying corporation and won! And in today’s social media world a LOT of people are going to hear about it.

#5 Stu Hall on 03.31.10 at 1:54 pm

Congratulations, Bruce. I hope the naysayers who comment on your blog will take note of what is essentially a victory for someone reporting truth, against a bullying corporation.
Coincidentally, today is also the last day of Evony for me. I’ve been playing for about 4 months but decided that I’ve wasted too much time on it and am done with it.

#6 Dave Bishop on 03.31.10 at 1:59 pm

A victory for freedom of speech and common sense :)

#7 D on 03.31.10 at 2:16 pm

Great job Bruce! So you got the CEO of Jagex, who is also the CEO of the most played mmo in the world to testify? Wow! Well I think this is the beginning of the end for evony. Great job!

#8 Michaelf on 03.31.10 at 2:41 pm

Congratulations Bruce! As a reader of your blog for the last couple of years I’m glad it can continue in the form and stance it can; ie reporting the truth.

#9 philip on 03.31.10 at 2:44 pm

great job Bruce, you really showed some balls and in the end it worked!

thank you for not backing down but fighting for justice and freedom of speech!

#10 Docker Al on 03.31.10 at 2:52 pm

Congratulations Bruce… but no thanks to your readers or those of us who donated to the fighting fund?
Just an oversight I’m sure.

#11 Matty J on 03.31.10 at 2:55 pm

Any chance of us getting to see the testimonies from the case (from both sides) without paying the Supreme Court for the transcripts?

#12 Bruce on 03.31.10 at 2:59 pm

@Docker Al
A very, very good point.
I have already thanked the donors and was going to thank them again once all the financial side of things is sorted out.

You are very right, the contributions were not just financially appreciated, they also showed much needed moral support which has been massively comforting through all the bad times .

#13 docred on 03.31.10 at 2:59 pm

Well done.

#14 AC on 03.31.10 at 3:00 pm

Congratulations Bruce et al, you have broken the silence of millions of gamers in bringing this issue to account.

I am particularly delighted that you had the assistance Mark Gerhard, CEO of Jagex, because too many people remain quite ignorant of the type of abuse that transpires within rogue MMOs like Evony. I can well understand how his expertise and guidance would have been of particular assistance to this case. It should be pointed out that responsible browser gaming companies do exist and they offer an infinitely safer and more rewarding gaming experience than Evony. Naturally I hope that all legitimate gaming companies can benefit from this experience and begin to recognise that it is in their best interests to assist people like Bruce Everiss to challenge companies that employ unethical business practices.

Here is a toast to all involved in helping Bruce over these past few months.

AC

#15 Bruce on 03.31.10 at 3:03 pm

@Matty J

I don’t have the transcripts yet. When I do I will happily email them to anyone who wants, just send me an email request. Because they were spoken in open court they are in the public domain.

#16 Mundo on 03.31.10 at 3:58 pm

Hell yes!

#17 Steve A on 03.31.10 at 4:03 pm

Aussie Croc attacks Libel Tourists!

Can you just post the transcripts online when they are available please?

And the Evony guy faked a claim for a BA and MBA!?!

I wonder if they will pay up or run out on the court obligations.

Happy days are here again!

Now we need to know which other games are suspected of being associated with this company so we can avoid them. And time for you to turn back to the original purpose of your blog, which kind of got hijacked by legal filings.

Here is a funny game for all your Jewish readers>

http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/matzohball/

#18 Bruce on 03.31.10 at 4:22 pm

@Steve A

They are far too big to post here. Two days talking.
I will gladly send them to anyone who wants to host them, or analyse them for journalistic or academic purposes.

#19 Em on 03.31.10 at 4:41 pm

Congratulations Bruce! I’ve been following the proceedings on your website since you first wrote about it. Glad to see that the outcome was so good. Instead of posting the entire transcript, maybe you could post the highlights?

#20 Bruce on 03.31.10 at 4:50 pm

@Em
Thank you.
My feeling is that now the facts about Evony are mainstream I have done my job and can move on. Articles like the Guardian one above and this http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/03/evony-investigating-the-game-everyone-loves-to-hate.ars reach far bigger audiences than I can ever achieve.

Also I want to write about where mobile is going. Android is looking to overtake iPhone this year, yet most people don’t realise. And where the gesture interfaces are going now that Sony and Microsoft have revealed more. And where 3D is going now that the movie industry has run out of seats to fit their audience on.
You get the idea.

#21 JW on 03.31.10 at 4:50 pm

Congratulations Bruce! This is really great! :D

#22 Brennan on 03.31.10 at 4:51 pm

Congratulations, Bruce. It’s been entertaining.

#23 xbendystevex on 03.31.10 at 4:59 pm

I’m sure you’re glad its all over. Just out of interest, did your lawyers have proof of the things you wrote to produce in court other than things that you’ve already posted here?

Now that Evony have assured you they won’t sue again, it would sure be interesting to see what you were going to bring up.

#24 Duds on 03.31.10 at 6:21 pm

Careful, no-one likes a bad winner ;)

#25 Rob on 03.31.10 at 7:01 pm

Congratulations – It really is unfortunate the degree to which Evony (and their shady founders) have gone to squirm out of the spotlight they brought on themselves by engaging in the kinds of activity that they have. Once people start making real money through abusive practices (especially in a highly unregulated and corrupt legal environment like China) they have nothing but incentive but to keep pushing the envelop and shouting down anyone that criticizes them.

The other side of this story is all the advertising publishers who still gladly accept Evony’s advertising – it is perfectly possible to opt out of these ads and avoid sending users to Evony’s clutches (and further incentivizing their behavior on a worldwide basis).

When will Google and other ad platforms currently still serving this garbage make the right decision and blacklist these butt holes once and for all – they have done so many times in the past (the most recent being tooth whiteners in my memory). How is this any different?

#26 H7O on 03.31.10 at 7:14 pm

congrats!
i’m sure all those “what have i brought to myself” moments that you probably felt through this ordeal are now all behind you.

what a life experience you got from all this.

congrats again, it takes big courage to do what you did.

#27 Robin on 03.31.10 at 9:16 pm

I am so pleased with the result, I found your blog some time ago and loved the articles. I’ve been following events with evony since they started and this is absolutely a victory for free speech, common sense and most of all the truth. I take inspiration from your stand against a company whose actions speak for themselves and that you did not back down, well done and here’s to many many years of stress free blogs, you deserve it!

#28 Dave on 03.31.10 at 9:25 pm

So I am guessing Evony used the old truce-dream truce move and hoped you would just port away. Kudos to you Bruce for building your army up and hitting them when they came out of truce. Nice to see you are getting all your legal costs back as well.

Out of curiousity, did their lawyers have big breasts? I can just picture a big breasted lawyer eating a banana in court saying “Come my lord, you must find in favour of us” while unbuttoning her shirt.

#29 FailChris on 03.31.10 at 10:46 pm

Congratulations, Bruce! Great to see the (insert whatever expletive/s you want here) over at Evony get what they deserve. GG!

#30 Philip Whitehouse on 04.01.10 at 12:21 am

Congratulations Bruce,

A great victory for morals and truth over the power of the libel laws I think.

Well fought.

Looking forward to your insights returning to the matter of gaming now :)

#31 Tex Pine on 04.01.10 at 2:03 am

Yeah, right on Bruce! I’m glad this is over, it was clearly such an enormous emotional and time-consuming burden over many months for you. Congrats from Brazil!

#32 Someone on 04.01.10 at 4:25 am

You should now take down your “Fighting Fund,” Bruce.

Oh, and congrats on this. My only problem now is, how shall I get my bi-weekly drama?

At least the head ache is over for you.

Well done also on all the hard work conducted by Damian Sturzaker, Hannah Petrie and Sally Kerridge, and everyone else.

Please post the odd update, Evony is how I found I, and I visit almost on a daily basis now.

#33 Trevelyan on 04.01.10 at 4:37 am

Phew! Its not over yet but, seems that theyve lost!

+1 to free speech!

#34 SmaMan on 04.01.10 at 5:00 am

Ah, how it must have felt to be in that courtroom and watch as Evony got caught with its pants down…

Cheers mate! I salute you for sticking on even when David Guo was sending crooked cops to beat people up.

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief… and maybe things will start to quiet down around here.

#35 Bruce on 04.01.10 at 5:50 am

Re the court transcript, it has a copyright notice at the top of each document which prohibits the reproduction of the transcript for any other purpose than the conduct of the proceedings.
Also where the transcript contains personally identifying information, including particularly witnesses’ addresses, that information should not be disclosed.

So presumably it could only be used as if you were in court actually listening to the (public) proceedings.

#36 Carpaccio on 04.01.10 at 6:46 am

Glad that all went well for you, Bruce. :)

#37 Giant Hogweed on 04.01.10 at 7:21 am

Y’know Bruce, I was on one of the many forums where you were being laughed at and pilloried for not just caving in and pulling the features.

You must have been through an incredibly stressful few months, but as cliche as it sounds, you really have struck a blow for freedom of speech here.

My sincerest congratulations and respects to you for taking the right path, and not the easy one.

#38 Dave on 04.01.10 at 8:09 am

Congrats Bruce. I donated a couple of days ago after reading the Ars feature – I hope the money can still be of use?

#39 Chris on 04.01.10 at 8:42 am

Congrats Bruce. We now finally know the difference between you and a certain Scottish games ranter. You can go to court and win! Well done.

#40 Bruce on 04.01.10 at 8:47 am

@Chris
Also, unlike the Scotsman, I actually work in the video game industry.

#41 Roger on 04.01.10 at 9:25 am

Congratz Bruce!

Its so lame of Evony to back down due to that reason, everyone who has any inside into evony’s forum knows that any posting regarding this lawsuit was deleted and suppressed.

How exactly was the case dropped?

#42 Bruce on 04.01.10 at 9:32 am

@Roger
Thanks.
The details of the dropping of the case are best explained in the Guardian article.

#43 MattB on 04.01.10 at 10:42 am

Interesting. You can remove the paypal donate box from your page now, unless you feel this isn’t over yet!

#44 Bruce on 04.01.10 at 10:49 am

@MattB

It isn’t over yet, as the Guardian article states!
However you make a good point, I will ask my webmaster to remove it when he returns from Spain next week.

#45 JenniferRuth on 04.01.10 at 11:46 am

Congratulations Bruce! I’m so glad that the outcome was a positive one for you.

#46 JDoran on 04.01.10 at 7:06 pm

Congratulations Bruce. Proof that sometimes common sense and morality can prevail in a court of law.

Although I do think that the judge should order Evony to be investigated for the things that they are doing, but that’s probably not likely, we should just be glad that the law worked well this far.

#47 feingarden on 04.01.10 at 7:50 pm

Congratulations, and well done!!! I’m truly pleased to see this result. This is clearly a major victory for free speech as well as a triumph of the little guy not caving to a corporate juggernaut. Unfortunately, I don’t believe, as others have indicated above, that this is the beginning of the end for Evony and in fact I’m somewhat surprised that they bothered to take the point as far as they did. I expected them to be more inclined to let the criticism flow freely as long as it didn’t affect the cash flow significantly (perhaps it did?).

Anyway, the irony of reading this post adjacent to an ad for “World of LordCraft” featuring a woman wearing a (presumably medieval?) bra and panties set is competely astounding to me, and reinforces my fears that Evony rolls on unaffected.

#48 Tesh on 04.01.10 at 10:40 pm

Nice. Congratulations, Mr. Everiss! It’s nice to see someone take a stand on principle and stick to it.

#49 Steve A on 04.02.10 at 1:31 am

Ya want to get Evony tossed off their Texas USA based server host if possible.

#50 S.E. Gordon on 04.02.10 at 11:56 am

Alright! :D

#51 Roger on 04.02.10 at 12:10 pm

Yes the article says that the case was dropped by Evony but its a bit vague to as why. The accuser did not have a proper degree and Evony claimed that their players didn’t like the lawsuit. I dont see legitimate reasons here, other than as a coverup of a bad suit of course.
The customers of Evony were never asked of their oppinion, nor were they even allowed to discuss it in the forum.
Evony got cold feet and dropped it…thats it?

I sure hope that Evony learns something from all of this!

#52 E. Nigma on 04.02.10 at 12:32 pm

@Roger – A witness for the plantiff was found to have made false statements in regards to their holding of various University degrees. If the witness for the plantiff has made false statements about that, then I would think it would form the basis for asking what else might the plantiff be making false statements about? This is likely why they tip-toed away.

#53 MathijsP on 04.02.10 at 12:56 pm

Congratulations. :D

#54 Kaziarl on 04.03.10 at 12:37 pm

Wonderful news Bruce. It will be interesting to see what happens to Evony now, and if they’ll allow any sort of discussion about it.

Meh, probably not, but miracles can happen. I wouldn’t mind catching a glimpse of those transcripts myself though.

#55 Ashendarei on 04.05.10 at 12:11 am

Glad to hear the battle is finally won. I’m sure you’re probably quite releaved to be free of the Evony business and able to get back to blogging about things OTHER then the lawsuit :D

#56 Mike on 04.05.10 at 9:32 am

Balls of steel. And the size of watermelons. Well done :)

#57 Nick on 04.06.10 at 3:40 pm

They dropped it because they knew they would lose. Congrats on your win. And keep calling them out. Their scam needs to end!

#58 Bruce on 04.06.10 at 3:45 pm

More about the trial: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/04/evony-speaks-to-ars.ars

#59 Roger on 04.06.10 at 9:28 pm

Very interesting!

I especially like the cross-examination of Gifford! Whats a little lying compared to good publicity? :D

Their statement about the reason is false, I never ever saw any sort of discussion about the lawsuit on their forum.

#60 Richcolour on 04.06.10 at 10:06 pm

I kind of like saucy advertising, yeah, it’s a little boost on a mundane drive down the A4. However, it needs to be true to the product. ‘Hello Boys’ etc. is fine. Advertise your underwear to me, I may buy some for the missus. What gets me down is when companies use sex to try to suck me in for an expensive waste of my time.
Hats off to you, Bruce, and your skilled team.

#61 tempo dulu on 04.07.10 at 4:07 am

cheers! They had no chance of winning.

#62 YESS on 04.07.10 at 3:37 pm

Congrates on the outcome Bruce! I am glad, not just for you, but everyone who speaks out against the dishonest and shady..

#63 Kaziarl on 04.07.10 at 4:50 pm

@Roger
Hey.. thats my name too… creapy. ANYWAY:
I completely agree. I used to be a regular poster on the forum, giving advice, trying to help people. Was never a mod or anything like that, I just try to be helpful when I can. Then one day, after keeping track of things going on here, I post that I am worried about this game I’ve come to enjoy.

Yes, I said it, I enjoyed playing Evony. More for the people I got to talk to in my alliance then anything else, but still. I talked about how I was concerned about the games future in regards to how the lawsuit would play out. And you know what happened? Not 5 minutes later I got a perma-ban from the forum. Some discussion huh?

#64 Matty J on 04.08.10 at 9:11 am

There are Evony Age II banner ads on this website. It was a flash banner so this was the best link I could get https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/request.py?hl=en&gl=NL&client=ca-pub-5832367877412264&adU=www.EvonyTwo.com%2FFreeForever&contact=abg_afc&url=http:%2F%2Fwww.bruceongames.com%2F&adT=ImageAd I hope it’s enough info for you to block it.

#65 Nuchaleft on 04.09.10 at 3:33 pm

Gotta love goodle adsense, congratz on the case bruce!

#66 Joey on 04.10.10 at 12:33 am

I am still bazzled as to how a company operating in America (supposedly) can take someone from the UK to court in Australia.

#67 Sirnot1 on 04.10.10 at 4:05 am

Mark Gerhard, the CEO of the most played free MMO in the world, helped you. This is the beginning of the end for evony…

#68 AC on 04.10.10 at 8:29 am

I note that Evony’s public domain article produced by Benjamin Gifford (Aka Thalin Athasian – the person named in the Guardian article link in this article) who accused Bruce Everiss of libel and unprofessional conduct have not been updated to inform the Evony community of the outcome of their legal action against Bruce Everiss. This article can be found here http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?t=58646. In addition to this, an identical piece has been on public domain here and it has now been removed without any attempt to explain the results of this lawsuit http://www.evony.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=1&Itemid=50.

Because Evony have developed forum terms whereby they have prohibited their users from talking about this lawsuit and indeed have banned people who have done so, it means that they are legally and morally responsible for their public domain reportage on this lawsuit. Should they fail to do this in all public domain areas where it has been listed, Evony will have intentionally slandered Bruce Everiss without offering due process. This may permit Bruce Everiss to instigate libel action against Evony for the false accusations they have made against him. Naturally this will mean that Evony will have to formally admit to the fact that Benjamin Gifford, the person who runs Regan Mercantile US, LLC’s Legal Department (As can be confirmed through the Evony Terms of Use Agreement that has been binding since 30th July, 2009 http://www.evony.com/index.do?PageModule=Static&type=TandC ), has admitted to lying about his qualifications (BA and MBA degrees) to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

AC

#69 Steve A on 04.12.10 at 5:16 am

@AC

Somehow I think Bruce most likely desires to end his sojourn through the New South Wales legal system. If it were me I would just declare victory and go home. [After the check for the legal fees from Evony cleared]

#70 Steve A on 04.12.10 at 5:53 am

Oh that was the day when my forum account was permabanned the day after the lawsuit when I PMed Thalin Athasian in response to a prior suspension he gave me where he claimed Bruce Lied and asked for a comment in regards to Benjamin Gifford’s fake BA/MBA. I opened another forum account to warn people about Evony dishonesty and that resulted in two [2] permabanns in one day. I am very proud of getting banned by Mr. Gifford. It’s like being called dishonest by Bernie Madoff. A badge of honor.

I really liked the part of his testimony where Gifford says he just changed his mind about dishonesty used for PR being wrong in the last 10 seconds. He got shredded so bad I almost feel sorry for him. Almost…but no cigar. I just wonder if the judge busted up laughing at him. And audio recording of that would be priceless. The transcription on that web site looks like the order of a few words may have been slightly mixed up also. Is the audio available?

#71 Jefferson on 04.12.10 at 6:42 pm

Well done!! Great job. Uncover the truth. Next JFK??

Did Benjamin even finish highschool? What a con artist.

#72 Rose on 04.13.10 at 11:44 am

It really, truly is over now, isn’t it? Evony paid the legal fees before the 12th, so the case isn’t reconvening?

#73 roger on 04.13.10 at 4:12 pm

Im sure Bruce is really tired of this legal and moral mess and wants nothing further to do with it. As he wrote, more mainstream media has taken on the issue and exposing the lies of evony.

#74 Dave on 04.14.10 at 8:00 am

I heard Evony offered Bruce 5,000,000 game cents, 50 holy helm heroes and 300 Easter Packages as compensation but Bruce turned them down….

That would be the only compensation I reckon evony would offer. BTW Bruec, Age 2 is a monumental flop. Thought this might make your day. People are fleeing from it in droves.

#75 Steve A on 04.14.10 at 8:23 am

Do you recognize where we all just recently heard this exact same PR damage control rationale? Here is the ARS article excerpt.

Can you trust Evony’s side of the story?

While the interview didn’t exactly put all the unsettling rumors to rest, it did manage to make Evony seem like a game that had grown a little too quickly for its development team to keep up with. As a result, communication had broken down between the developers and the rest of the world, both in and outside the Evony community.

Have you figured out where they got the “We grew too fast” PR repair campaign excuse?

Evony ripped if off from > MR. TOYOTA

Mr. Toyota actually seemed sincere, but it just amazes me they ripped him off. The rips just keep on coming. Evony needs to buy a few autos from Toyota as payment for infringing upon his PR slogan. Honestly though, I actually BELIEVE Mr. Toyota. Which is why Evony ripping off a CEO like Mr. Toyota is just so dang slimy… I can’t even think of an appropriate analogy.

#76 STD on 04.18.10 at 4:39 pm

Congratulations, serves the Evony people right. Their game is nothing but a money sucking timewaster, starting from their ‘Gifts’ to their dodgy item deals.
I have been following your court case with great interest, as a player of Evony and a resident of Australia. Could you please email me the transcripts?

#77 BustedBotUser on 05.21.10 at 5:37 pm

Freaken excellent.. did my time on evony. Finally got booted for using the evo-bot. Had evony put one iota into gameplay, listening to peoples suggestions in the forums they could have a GREAT game.. but alas greed greed greed.

DO NOT PLAY EVONY

#78 Stinkowing on 05.22.10 at 10:42 pm

I started following this right around last January, and I have to say, I’m suprised you got the CEO of my favorite MMO to help you!

Also, Sirnot1 up there, he’s on the wiki for said MMO.

Just saying. Glad that Evony has been busted!

#79 Ethan on 10.16.10 at 10:06 pm

Youb guys are such BAst*.
Claimgin your shi about evony.
I have been palying evony for a year and have had no problems with the game. i emt alot of peopl over my time and enjoyed gameplay.

It is my beleif that peopl who ahve such thigns agisnt evony has ghad a bad experince on evony doesn’t approve the way the agme was set up or violated the rules and were expelled and banned form the game.
And if you say freedom of speech there is no such thign on a game run by a company.When you play you ahve to lsiten to the rules.
Rules are the veyr fabric of our society which keeps utter chaios from happaning.
And If bruce is so agnit liberal laws the prhibit free speech eh will elt me say what I need to say for I belive it is right. If he dopens’t aprrove of this messege here would go his case aginst freedom of sapeech crap.

Let me say that yes there is freedom of speech however there are consequnces.
This ant my real name nor email adress.
I won’t be no target of anyone just cause I have a different belief.

#80 Ethan on 10.16.10 at 10:08 pm

Oh and by the way. I could asure you if any othe rgame companies are helping you gusy go after evony.They are doing it for personell gians of eliminating the competition.

#81 Hiernonymous on 10.24.10 at 8:53 pm

Ethan, my friend, from the looks of your post, you could stand to put Evony aside for a bit and spend a few days in school. I’m just sayin’…

I’m not saying this for personell gians :D

online poker
SuperSignupBonus