- 2 1 Scope and Subject of the Terms and Conditions of Use
- 3 2 General provisions concerning the conclusion of contract
- 4 3 General duties of the user
- 5 4 Special conditions for the use of the online games
- 6 5 Special conditions for the use of communications facilities (in particular discussion forum, chat, blog and comment functions)
- 7 6 Consequences of a breach of duty
- 8 7 Disclaimer
- 9 8 Contractual term; deletion of user accounts
- 10 9 Applicable law, Court
- 11 10 Amendments to these Terms and Conditions of Use, Miscellaneous, Communication, Severability Clause
1 Scope and Subject of the Terms and Conditions of Use
These Standard Terms and Conditions of Use ("Terms and Conditions of Use") regulate the use of the online games and other services, such as forums and support systems (the "Gameforge Services"), provided by Gameforge 4D GmbH, Albert-Nestler-Straße 8, 76131 Karlsruhe ("Gameforge").
Gameforge provides the Gameforge Services for use exclusively by consumers. The Gameforge Services can be used either in the form of free online games and services or as online games and services to which certain virtual articles and rights can be acquired in return for a payment. In some cases the Gameforge Services can also be used in return for a one-off or regular fee ("Memberships"). Unless these Terms and Conditions of Use explicitly provide otherwise, they likewise apply to paid Gameforge Services, including the memberships. The paid acquisition of virtual articles or rights and membership arrangements are additionally subject to the Special Terms and Conditions for the Paid Acquisition of Virtual Articles and the Arrangement of Fee-based Memberships ("Special Conditions").
Gameforge is entitled to interrupt the operation of the Gameforge Services without prior notice if there are urgent technical reasons or because of necessary maintenance works. In all other cases reasonable advance notice will be provided using suitable means.
The Gameforge Services can only be used in the currently valid version.
The Gameforge Services are solely intended for the entertainment purposes of consumers. It is prohibited to use them for the purpose of making a gainful profit. Exceptions to this require the express, prior written consent of Gameforge.
The user is responsible for the up-to-dateness and suitability of the software and hardware used by him, particularly for the purpose of using any new releases or other updates of the Gameforge Services.
The Gameforge Services are subject to the applicable rules of gaming or use ("Rules"), if in existence, through which the Gameforge rights of possession and ownership are set out in detail. If there are any contradictions between the Terms and Conditions of Use and the Rules, these Terms and Conditions shall take precedence, unless the Rules are accorded priority in the specific case.
The user's contrary rules or standard terms and conditions shall not apply.
2 General provisions concerning the conclusion of contract
In order to use the Gameforge Services the user must be registered. This does not apply in those cases in which an exception is made to the registration requirement (e.g. with the tag line "play right now!"). The user must always be registered in order to save a game state.
Users must be individual natural persons (groups, families, life partners etc. not permitted). Registration must be completed personally. Registration via third parties is not permitted.
Minors are only permitted to use the Gameforge Services if the relevant legal guardian has consented and if the user has attained the minimum age indicated in the relevant age rating.
During the registration process the user is required to enter certain data such as a player name and an email address registered in his name. The user has no entitlement to be assigned a particular player name. The player name may not infringe any third-party rights or any relevant legal regulations nor may it offend public decency. The user is expressly responsible in this respect. It is likewise not permitted to use an email or internet address as a player name. The information provided by the user when registering must be fully truthful and complete. The user is obliged to continually update the information provided when registering. If required for the execution of the licence agreement, Gameforge shall be entitled to demand suitable proof of identity which will be deleted promptly following verification.
By entering the requisite data on one of the Gameforge internet pages, the user is submitting an offer to conclude the licence agreement regulated herein. Gameforge accepts the offer by activating the user account. Gameforge is entitled to make the activation of the user account dependent on the user validating his email address (opt-in procedure). This is performed by Gameforge sending the user an email confirming the receipt of the offer and containing a request for the user to validate his email address. At the time of the activation performed by Gameforge a licence agreement will be established between Gameforge and the user in accordance with these Terms and Conditions of Use. In some cases the registration process may be different from that described here - particularly when registering via third-party websites (such as social networks). In such cases the user will be instructed on how to submit the contractual declaration required for the licence agreement.
As an alternative to the registration via Gameforge's web pages, Gameforge can enable registration via the relevant functions of other websites or social networks (e.g. "Facebook Connect"). In this context, once the user has given his consent to the relevant website operator, his personal data may be relayed to Gameforge. Use of this kind of registration procedure requires the user to be registered with the applicable website or social network in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable there. The provisions of this Section 2 correspondingly apply for the conclusion of contract.
There is no entitlement to registration or activation.
Once the registration has been successfully completed, the user creates a user account which he can independently administer. The user may create an account on the Gameforge portal or on the relevant Gameforge website. The user can also use the user account created on Gameforge's portal for all other online games linked by Gameforge with the Gameforge portal. Unless otherwise indicated when creating the user account, the user account created on an online game page is solely intended for that online game on the page on which the account was created; it cannot be used for other online games. Gameforge reserves the right to implement technical arrangements (e.g. in the form of a portal) that enable user accounts to be simultaneously used for several Gameforge Services.
The user account may not be transferred or made available to other parties without the consent of Gameforge.
3 General duties of the user
3.1 Log-in data, usernames, passwords
The user is obliged to keep his log-in data secret at all times. In particular the user is obliged to only use his log-in data within the Gameforge Services and to protect it from unauthorised third-party access.
"Log-in data" is taken to mean the user's personal access data used to authenticate him and to preclude any use by unauthorised third parties. The password may not be identical to the player name and it must contain at least eight characters comprising a combination of digits and letters.
In the event that the user has any reason to suspect that a third party has or could have gained unauthorised use of this data, he must promptly inform Gameforge and change his data or arrange for it to be changed by Gameforge. Gameforge , moreover, has the right to temporarily block access to the user in such a case or in the event that Gameforge has any indication that the data is being misused. The user shall again be permitted use once the suspicion of misuse has been shown to be groundless.
Unless permitted under the Rules, the user is not entitled under any circumstances to use the log-in data of another user.
3.2 Use of the Gameforge Services
The Gameforge Services include contents of all kinds which are protected under trademark law, copyright or otherwise protected in favour of Gameforge or in favour of third parties. Unless explicitly permitted by Gameforge, the user is not entitled to modify, reproduce or publicly disseminate the Gameforge Services or the content made available therein, nor may he use these for advertising or any other purpose other than the contractually agreed one. Reproduction is only permitted where this is technically necessary for the purpose of using the Gameforge Services as contractually agreed. It is not permissible to modify, conceal or remove copyright notices and trademark names.
"Content" is understood as encompassing all data, images, texts, graphics, musical pieces, sounds, sound sequences, videos, programs or software code and any other information provided by Gameforge. "Content" is specifically also understood as encompassing all offers of services made available for download.
The user is duty bound to desist from anything that could jeopardise or interfere with the Gameforge Services and he may not access data which he is not entitled to access.
The user has no entitlement to the publication of contents within the ambit of the Gameforge Services.
It is not permissible to use the Gameforge Services via anonymisation services or similar means capable of suppressing or concealing the real IP address or the origin of the user.
3.3 Use of client software
Gameforge grants the user, in relation to services which require the prior installation of client software to enable their use, the non-exclusive (ordinary) right, limited to the duration of the licence agreement, to install and use the client software. The user is only permitted to reproduce the client software insofar as this is necessary for the contractually compliant use of the software. All forms of commercial use of the software are prohibited. Any modification of the client software or the retranslation of the supplied program code into other code forms (decompilation) as well as any other forms of reverse engineering of the various software production phases are prohibited to the extent these are not required to obtain the information necessary to establish interoperability of the client software with other programs, and if the establishment of interoperability cannot be otherwise demanded particularly from Gameforge and the relevant data is not used for any purpose other than establishing interoperability and these actions are performed by the user only.
4 Special conditions for the use of the online games
Unless the Rules allow exceptions, the user may participate in each round of an online game (e.g. world, universe etc.) using one user account only. It is not permissible to use multiple user accounts ("multi-accounts"). Gameforge is entitled at any time at its own discretion to block or delete unauthorised multi-accounts.
The user is prohibited from manipulating the online game in any way. The user is not entitled, in particular, to employ any measures, mechanisms or software that could interfere with the functionality or the course of the game. The user is prohibited from any actions which could result in an unreasonable or excessive load on the technical capacities. The user is not permitted to block, overwrite or modify the content generated by Gameforge or to otherwise interfere with the online game.
The user is prohibited, moreover, from running the online game on other programs apart from the internet browser or the supplied client program. This especially refers to bots or other tools that are designed to replace or augment the web interface. It is likewise prohibited to use scripts and programs that give the user an advantage over his co-players. This also includes auto-refresh functions and other integrated mechanisms of the internet browser to the extent these concern automated processes. Log-in is only permitted via the Gameforge Services and the third-party pages integrated by Gameforge (e.g. portals or social networks).
Under no circumstances may the user a) create or use cheats, mods, hacks and/or software that alter the online game experience, b) use software that facilitates "data mining" or otherwise captures or collects information in connection with the online games, c) buy or sell virtual articles originating from the Gameforge Services from third parties in return for real means of payment, nor may he exchange these goods or attempt to negotiate any of the aforementioned transactions unless this is permissible in the individual case. This also includes all actions equivalent to the aforementioned prohibited activities.
All rights to the virtual articles used in the online games and acquired in return for payment belong exclusively to Gameforge except where used in accordance with these Terms and Conditions of Use.
It is not permissible to use private servers, i.e. servers held by users or third parties that enable, establish or maintain unauthorised connections to Gameforge Services, particularly by means of programs the use of which has not been explicitly approved by Gameforge, or which emulate or attempt to emulate the Gameforge Services.
5 Special conditions for the use of communications facilities (in particular discussion forum, chat, blog and comment functions)
Gameforge can provide the user with various communications facilities for its own content and contributions, which the user may use within the terms of the relevant availability. Gameforge in this respect solely provides the technical facilities for the exchange of information. There is no entitlement to the provision of such communications facilities.
The user is prohibited from publishing or disseminating content (e.g. images, videos, links, names, texts) within the Gameforge Services, if this
a) violates the applicable law or is unethical; b) infringes trademarks, patents, copyright, other industrial property rights, business secrets or other third-party rights; c) is obscene, racist, glorifies violence, is pornographic or liable to corrupt the young or otherwise endanger or impair the development of children and young people; d) is insulting, harassing, libellous in character or is otherwise prejudicial to an individual's rights of personality; e) contains chain letters or pyramid schemes; f) creates the false impression of being provided by or supported by Gameforge; g) contains the personal data of third parties who have not consented to its inclusion; h) is commercial in character, particularly having an advertising effect.
The user is obliged moreover to choose appropriate wording and not to disseminate any political or religious content or content with sexual references.
Gameforge does not claim any ownership to the content provided by users. The user nevertheless grants Gameforge the permanent, irrevocable and non-exclusive right to use the content and contributions made by him within the ambit of the Gameforge Services. Gameforge indicates that the content entered is at best subject to active sampling checks, but this is not a seamless monitoring method. The user, moreover, has the possibility of reporting to Gameforge content that is possibly illegal. Gameforge will thereupon respond promptly and, insofar as required, will edit or delete the reported content.
6 Consequences of a breach of duty
If Gameforge objects to particular content, the user must promptly remove it if there is any doubt. Gameforge reserves the right to remove this content itself.
Notwithstanding all other statutory or contractual rights, particularly the right of termination for cause pursuant to Section 8.2 of these Terms and Conditions of Use, using its discretion Gameforge may undertake one or more of the following actions if there are actual circumstances that genuinely indicate that a user has violated these Terms and Conditions of Use or the relevant applicable supplementary conditions and Rules, unless the user is not responsible for the violation:
a) amend or delete content, b) issue a warning to the relevant user, c) announce the misconduct in the relevant online game and disclose the player name, d) temporarily block the user account and e) exclude the relevant user, including for future cases.
Once a user has been excluded, he may not register a new user account without the prior consent of Gameforge.
Gameforge is liable according to the statutory provisions for damage/loss sustained by the user and caused deliberately or through the gross negligence of Gameforge or its vicarious agents. It is likewise liable for personal injury and damage within the definition of the Product Liability Law (Produkthaftungsgesetz).
Otherwise Gameforge's liability in relation to compensation claims – irrespective of the legal basis – is limited in accordance with the following provisions, unless otherwise provided for under a guarantee made by Gameforge:
In relation to damage/loss caused by ordinary negligence, Gameforge shall only be liable insofar as the matter relates to a breach of material contractual duties. Material contractual duties are those contractual obligations the fulfilment of which is strictly necessary in order that the agreement can be duly executed, whereby the user should normally be able to rely on these duties being fulfilled. In the event that Gameforge is hereby liable for ordinary negligence, the liability Gameforge will be limited to that damage/loss which is foreseeable and typical for this type of agreement.
The liability of Gameforge in relation to data and/or programs lost due to Gameforge's ordinary negligence shall be limited to the typical recovery costs that would have been sustained by the user had he implemented regular data backup measures which are reasonable in view of all the circumstances.
The provisions set out in the foregoing sub-paragraphs also correspondingly apply to the duty to compensate futile expenditure (Section 284 German Civil Code (BGB)).
The aforementioned disclaimers likewise apply in favour of Gameforge's vicarious agents.
Gameforge is not liable for any costs sustained by the user availing of services not explicitly offered by Gameforge itself. This applies particularly to costs incurred due to the data transfer to and from the user's terminal device as well as for any costs sustained by the user in using payment systems.
Any form of strict liability is excluded in respect of malfunctions in the Gameforge Services existing at the start of the service provision; i.e. Gameforge is only liable insofar as Gameforge or its vicarious agents is responsible for this.
8 Contractual term; deletion of user accounts
Unless otherwise explicitly stated during the registration procedure, the agreement for the use of the Gameforge Services shall be concluded for an indefinite period. Provided no fixed term has been agreed, both parties are entitled at any time to cancel the agreement for convenience with a notice period of two weeks. If a fixed term was agreed, the agreement can only be cancelled for convenience upon expiry of the term. If no cancellation is issued, the applicable fixed-term agreement shall be automatically extended by the originally agreed term.
Each party has the right to terminate the agreement for cause without notice, if a material reason exists. A material reason is specifically established if
a) the user is in default of payment of fees and fails to pay despite having received a reminder or if the user uses paid Gameforge Services without authorisation, b) there are actual circumstances that indicate that his conduct is significantly and negatively impacting on the gaming experience of other users, c) the user materially breaches laws, the provisions contained in Sections 3, 4 or 5 of these Terms and Conditions of Use, supplementary applicable conditions and/or Rules, unless he is not responsible for the violation.
Every cancellation/termination must be communicated in writing. Cancellations issued by email satisfy the written form requirement. Cancellations may also be issued using the cancel function integrated into the web page of the online game in question.
Gameforge is authorised to delete the user account if there are grounds justifying this (e.g. if user accounts without a membership are inactive for longer periods of time). The respective reasons and pre-conditions for deleting user accounts may be read in the Rules - if in existence - of the online game in question. Furthermore, Gameforge is entitled at its own discretion to delete user accounts at the end of the agreement.
If Gameforge has issued notice to terminate the licence agreement for cause for reasons for which the user is not responsible or if it ceases operating the respective Gameforge Services prior to a cancellation becoming effective, the user shall be entitled to demand the equivalent value paid by him for the Premium currency credit balance still on the user account or the remaining period of the membership.
9 Applicable law, Court
The contractual relationship is governed by German law to the exclusion of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the referral regulations of international private law. If, at the time of the relevant conclusion of contract (registration, purchase of paid services), the user as a consumer has as his usual domicile a location in another country within the European Union, the validity of the strictly applicable legal regulations of the country in question shall remain unaffected by the choice of law made in the 1st sentence.
10 Amendments to these Terms and Conditions of Use, Miscellaneous, Communication, Severability Clause
Gameforge reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions of Use. Gameforge will notify the user by email of the amended conditions at least four weeks before these coming into effect and it shall inform the user of the proposed applicability of these new Terms and Conditions of Use as well as the right of the user to object to their applicability. If the user does not object to the applicability of the new Terms and Conditions of Use within this period or if he again logs into the Gameforge Services after the amended Terms and Conditions of Use have come into effect, these amended conditions shall be deemed accepted. Gameforge will notify the user of the implications of the four-week period, the right to object and the legal consequences of failing to respond using a suitable form.
The user is only entitled to perform an offset if his counter-claim is legally enforceable (by way of a res judicata decision) or has been authorised or is not disputed by Gameforge. The user may only exercise a right of retention of his claims are established under this agreement.
Gameforge as a rule shall communicate with the user by email – unless other provided for within these Terms and Conditions of Use. The user shall ensure that the email address used for the registration is regularly checked for messages from Gameforge. If the user contacts Gameforge, he must state to which online game and which user account he is referring. Gameforge shall provide the user with a support system for support issues. Gameforge is entitled to instruct the user to communicate exclusively via the support system regarding support issues.
If any individual provisions of these Terms and Conditions of Use should prove to be unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall remain enforceable. The unenforceable provision shall be substituted for the relevant statutory provision.