THIS Agreement IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY. Mad Otter Games, Inc. (hereinafter “Mad Otter”) is happy to provide you access to our online service for use with the Villagers & Heroes™ game software (together with any updates, hereinafter “Game Client”). After installing the Game Client on your device (computer, PC, mobile device, smartphone, tablet, smart TV, hereinafter “device”), you may connect to the game servers (hereinafter “Game Servers”) that Mad Otter and its affiliate partners operate. Together, the Game Client, the Game Servers, and the additional services in connection with them, make up the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Villagers & Heroes™ (hereinafter “Game”). This Terms of Service Agreement (hereinafter “Agreement”) govern your use of the Game. By connecting to or using the Game Servers or running the Game Client, or accessing one of the websites associated with the Game (www.VillagersandHeroes.com) you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement.
§ 1 Area of application
1.1 Mad Otter provides Users with services furnished in connection with the Game solely on the basis of this Terms of Service Agreement (hereinafter “Agreement”).
1.2 The Game rules and participation requirements of the Game are published on the website www.VillagersandHeroes.com. Upon participation, the User also acknowledges these Game rules and participation requirements as binding.
1.3 Users are not entitled to assign their rights arising from this contractual relationship to any third party.
§ 2 Subject matter and scope of services
2.1 Mad Otter facilitates the User’s participation in the Game, provided the User has the necessary equipment and services (e.g., a device that meets the minimum requirements, an Internet connection, etc.).
2.2 The User is completely responsible for the cost of all Internet and telephone access charges along with all necessary equipment, servicing, and repair incurred by running the Game Client and/or connecting to the Game Servers.
2.3 For playing the Game, the User must be connected to the particular server of the Game by means of an authorized and unmodified Game Client. Mad Otter makes available client software for download by Users.
2.4 The User is responsible for maintaining his or her device in a condition that permits the use of the Game. This means that the device possesses an appropriate Internet connection and the minimum system requirements for the Game.
2.4 For the basic version of the game, the use is free. However, Users have the option, with payment, to acquire virtual currency for the Game, which may be exchanged for virtual objects and/or other additional functions. Virtual currency and virtual objects do not represent a real-world currency nor real-world items. Mad Otter does not assign to Users ownership of virtual currency, nor ownership to virtual objects, but solely a usage right, where the duration and extent depend on the particular virtual object.
2.5 The Game is being constantly developed, updated, and modified. The authorization for participation exists only for the current version of the Game. Mad Otter reserves the right to, at any time, discontinue, limit or change the operation of the Game or individual features of the Game in whole or in part, without a statement of the reasons.
§ 3 Eligibility
3.1 Those entitled to participate are only those persons who are an adult in his or her country of residence, or whose parent or guardian have consented to the use.
3.2 Upon registration for participation in the Game, the User warrants his or her age, legal capacity and/or, if he or she is a minor, the presence of the consent of his or her parent or guardian.
3.3 Participation in the Game is solely for the purpose of amusement. Users may not use the Game for commercial purposes.
§ 4 Registration process and entering into force of contracts
4.1 The User must fill out all fields marked as “required” in the registration form. All data in the registration form, regardless of whether voluntary or required, must be correct. Upon registration, the User must indicate his or her own e-mail address, under which he or she is able to be contacted.
4.2 The User explicitly grants to Mad Otter and its affiliates the right to communicate with the User via email, which includes, without limitation, the right to send the User newsletters. The user will have the option to unsubscribe from the Newsletter, however even after the User unsubscribes from the Newsletter, Mad Otter reserves the right to contact the user via his or her email address for purposes outside of the Newsletter.
4.3 Upon the submission of his or her registration, the User makes an offer for the conclusion of a use contract. However, a contract does not come into existence by filling out and submitting the registration form, but only upon the acceptance of the User’s offer by Mad Otter. Mad Otter shall confirm the receipt of the User offer in an electronic manner to the e-mail address indicated by the User. The confirmation of receipt does not constitute acceptance of the User’s offer. However, it may be connected with the notification of acceptance. The acceptance may take place expressly or through the first fulfillment action by Mad Otter. The User has no right to the conclusion of a contract, nor to the establishment of an Account, nor to participation in the Game.
4.4 Each User may open and use only one Account per Game. The opening of several Accounts for the same Game by the same User (so-called “multi-accounts”) is prohibited.
4.5 The User selects a member name during his or her registration, under which he or she is known to the Game, to Mad Otter, and to other Users. A User may also have the opportunity to name his or her characters, guild, village, pets, animals, and create a guild and village slogan. Any of the preceding that are defamatory, obscene, racially or ethnically offensive, libelous, inciting, a mockery or imitation of a Villagers & Heroes™ player or NPC, a misspelled variation or homonym of any of the preceding, or any name that is contrary to the law is prohibited. Any violation entitles Mad Otter to immediately rename and/or block the User. Mad Otter has the final say over what constitutes a violation of the naming policy.
4.6 The User may not transfer his or her Account to a third party without prior written consent from Mad Otter.
§ 5 Assignment
5.1 Mad Otter may assign this Agreement, in whole or in part, to any person or entity at any time with or without the User’s consent. A User may not assign this Agreement without Mad Otter’s prior written consent, and any unauthorized assignment by a User shall be null and void.
§ 6 Terms and conditions of use
6.1 The Game is made available to Users only within the framework of use as set forth in this Agreement.
6.2 Registered Users must be connected to a server through a Game Client under their member name and their personal password. The automated opening of Game Accounts is not permitted. The connection to the server is only permitted via the official, authorized, and unmodified Game Client made available by Mad Otter.
6.3 It is a violation of these Terms of Service to both buy and sell in-game items, in-game currency, and accounts for real money. Real money means, for example, U.S. Dollars, Euros, Chinese Renminbi, Chinese Yuan, South Korean Won, Japanese Yen, as well as any nation’s currency, plus cyber currencies such as BitCoin. In-game items are any item within the game, including but not limited to items obtained from the Item Shop, from the game world, “Crowns” and “Crown Bags”, etc. Mad Otter Games reserves the right to remove any such items, as well as delete or ban the accounts of the Users in these cases.
Note: It is permitted for Users to trade in-game items with other Users for in-game items.
6.4 The User is not entitled to apply mechanisms or software to the website, to the Game Client, nor to the Game Servers, which could disrupt the function or process of the Game. The User may not engage in measures that could have the consequence of an unreasonable or excessive burden on the technical capacities of Mad Otter. In particular, the User is prohibited from blocking, overwriting or modifying contents generated by Mad Otter. Any attempt the User to disrupt the Game, the Game Client, the website, or disrupt the Game Servers may be a violation of criminal and civil laws.
6.5 The User is not permitted to add elements to the Game software, nor to change, nor delete or modify in any other form elements of the Game software unless Mad Otter has previously issued its express written consent to this. In particular, the User is not permitted to copy, extract or otherwise use graphic elements, or to attempt to decode the source code of the software.
6.6 The User is not authorized to use the Game for commercial or illegal purposes.
6.7 Any use, reproduction, modification, or distribution of the Game not expressly authorized by this Agreement is expressly prohibited.
6.8 The User may not use nor apply any software or hardware application that makes it possible for him or her to influence the Game status or the Game process or receive services that he or she could otherwise acquire only at a fee. The User is specifically prohibited from using hacks, cheats, automation software (bots), mods or any unauthorized third-party software or hardware that modifies the experience of the Game.
6.9 The User may not use any unauthorized software or hardware that intercepts or collects information through or from the Game, the Game Client, or the Game Servers, including without limitation anything that reads areas of RAM used by the Game, with the sole exception that is explicitly allowed that the User may take screenshots and videos of the Game.
6.10 The User is expressly prohibited from selling, purchasing, leasing, renting, or duplicating for a third party virtual objects or virtual currency – regardless of the form – within and/or outside of the Game.
6.11 The User is prohibited from transmitting or posting any content of any form, including without limitation via the Game forums, Game chat, Game website, Game mail, etc., that is defamatory, obscene, vulgar, racially or ethnically offensive, sexist, harassing, libelous, harmful, threatening, hateful, or unlawful, along with content that is likely to violate the rights of any third party. Nor may the User use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the restrictions listed above. Users are likewise prohibited from disseminating through the Game commercial advertising for products and/or programs of any third party; and works of any third party that are protected by copyright or other rights without that third party’s consent and authorization.
6.12 The User may not impersonate any real person.
6.13 The User may not participate in any action that, in the sole and absolute opinion of Mad Otter, results or may result in another user of the Game being cheated, scammed, or defrauded of any virtual object, virtual item, or virtual currency (“gold”).
§ 7 Handling of payments
7.1 Users are granted the option of receiving, in exchange for a payment of a fee, virtual currency, which may be exchanged for virtual objects and/or additional functions that are not available in the Game in the free basic version and/or must be paid for. The offered virtual objects and additional functions that are subject to costs make it possible to use certain additional functions during certain periods in conformity with the rules of the particular Game.
7.2 Since the Game is continually subject to ongoing development, Mad Otter reserves the right to offer new additional functions and/or virtual objects, and/or to remove them from the offer, to modify them, or to make them available in the free basic version. If the User has already furnished payments for virtual objects and/or additional functions for a future period, and can no longer use these for the preceding reasons, Mad Otter shall, at the option of the User, offer as a substitute different virtual objects and/or additional functions for the Game and/or provide proportional reimbursement to the User for the amount that was paid. In such cases, the User is free to terminate this Agreement with immediate effect. Additional claims of the User are barred.
7.3 The fees for virtual currency are due in advance for payment upon the conclusive confirmation of the order by the User. The payments that are due are typically deducted from the bank account and/or through a credit card indicated by the User, or furnished by means of suitable payment systems.
7.4 Mad Otter is entitled to lower the prices for virtual currency, virtual objects and/or additional functions permanently or for a limited time, and to offer new products, services or accounting options permanently or for a limited time.
7.5 In the event of default, Mad Otter is entitled to require interest in the statutory amount. Furthermore, Mad Otter is entitled in the event of default to discontinue the services and to immediately block the Account of the User.
7.6 If, through any fault of the User or through a lack of account coverage that is attributable to the User, reversal debits and/or cancellation fees arise for Mad Otter through the subsequent cancellation of direct debits, the User has to bear the costs arising from this. Mad Otter is entitled to demand such costs together with the original fee from the account of the User through repeated deductions. If the payment of the fees takes place through direct debit or credit card collection and if return direct debits arise, Mad Otter shall charge a processing fee in the amount of $15 U.S. Dollars for each direct debit / credit card collection, plus the bank fees that have accrued for Mad Otter, if the User does not prove that the losses that arose were smaller.
7.7 Users may engage in a set-off against Mad Otter only with undisputed or legally established counterclaims. They may exercise a right of retention only if their counterclaim is based on the same contractual relationship. The assignment of their claims against Mad Otter to a third party is barred.
§ 8 Contractual term and termination
8.1 This Agreement between the User and Mad Otter is entered into for an indefinite period of time.
8.2 The User may terminate this Agreement at any time for any reason or for no reason by deleting the Game Client and terminating all Mad Otter and Game accounts registered to the User. In the event that the User terminates or breaches this Agreement, he or she will forfeit his or her rights to a refund for any virtual objects or virtual currency he or she may have.
8.3 Mad Otter may terminate this Agreement at any time for any reason or for no reason, with or without notice to you. For the purposes of explanation and not limitation, most terminations are the result of a User’s violation of this Agreement.
8.3 Sections 7, 9, 12, 13, 16, and 17 shall survive any Termination of this Agreement.
§ 9 Ownership
9.1 All rights and title in and to the Game and contents of the respective websites are owned by Mad Otter or its licensors. These include without limitation logos, copyrights, trademarks, themes, stories, dialogue, catch phrases, characters, character names, user accounts, transcripts of the forums and chat, recordings of the Game, methods of operation, computer code, artwork, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audio-visual effects, documentation, and moral rights. Any impermissible utilization, dissemination, duplication or other violation of the commercial property rights or copyrights of Mad Otter are pursued under civil law and/or criminal law.
9.2 The User acknowledges and agrees that he or she has no ownership or other property interest in any account stored or hosted on a Mad Otter system, and the User further agrees that all accounts are owned by Mad Otter.
§ 11 Responsibility for third party content
11.1 For communication between Users, Mad Otter makes available a platform over which they may communicate with each other. Each User is responsible for the contents of all of his or her communications and all contents that are published by the User on the Internet site. Mad Otter does not treat such content as its own, nor does it consent to it. The same applies to any content that violates the rights of third parties in any manner. Violations may lead to the immediate deletion and/or blocking of content and/or the Account and to the termination of the User. To the extent that, on the platform, links are made available to other sites that are operated by third parties, Mad Otter is not responsible for the contents of the linked sites. Mad Otter does not control these sites, and expressly disassociates itself from their contents.
§ 12 DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES
12.1 DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. THE GAME IS MADE AVAILABLE ON AN “AS IS” “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS WITHOUT REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT AND AVAILABILITY.
12.2 If Users become aware of defects or bugs in the Game, Users may inform Mad Otter of these through various means (e.g., the in-game “Bug Report”, the Game forums, etc.). In most cases, Mad Otter will attempt to correct these defects in a timely manner. However, Mad Otter will have final say on what constitutes a defect or bug. Further, as stated in 12.1, Mad Otter does not warrant that it will fix any specific defect or bug.
§ 13 Limitation of Liability
13.1 In no event shall Mad Otter, its licensors, or its affiliates be liable for damages other than those caused by gross negligence or an intentional act.
13.2 In no event shall Mad Otter, its licensors, or its affiliates be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, liquidated, or other consequential damages arising from the User’s use of the Game. The preceding limitations shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by the law. In no event shall Mad Otter’s liability exceed $50.
§ 14 Conduct obligations and duties of Users
14.1 The primary obligation of the User is the payment of a fee that possibly accrues. An additional primary obligation of the User is the obligation to provide the correct and full disclosure of information that Mad Otter asks for from the User upon the conclusion of a contract or in the continuation of the contractual relationship. The User warrants that the information regarding his or her identity or other circumstances relevant to the Agreement (particularly bank account and credit card number) that is provided within the framework of the contractual offer or the conclusion of the contract or in the continuation of the contractual relationship is complete and correct.
14.2 Users are aware that they are playing the Game together with numerous other Users, and/or that they are communicating with various Users over the additional services. In order to facilitate vigorous interaction, observance of the rules is necessary. Users acknowledge the Game rules and the participation requirements of the Game as binding. Users shall comply with the instructions of Mad Otter or one of its designate representatives. In all other respects, Users shall refrain from any action that disturbs the Game and the additional services and the vigorous interaction. The User is particularly obligated to not bring in and/or transmit into the Game any content that is against the law or public policy. This particularly includes content that spurs racial hatred, is likely to endanger the moral welfare of children or teenagers or impairs them in their well-being, or could damage the reputation of Mad Otter.
14.3 Upon any contravention of the User of number 14.2, Mad Otter itself is entitled to delete the information uploaded by the User. In particular, Mad Otter is entitled to delete uploaded information if there is specific evidence for a violation of this Agreement, the Game rules or the participation requirements, or if the uploaded information is otherwise illegal.
14.4 Upon any contravention of the User, Mad Otter is also entitled to, after previous warning and the threat of blocking, temporarily block the access of the User to his or her Account. A warning with the threat of blocking is unnecessary if there are special circumstances that justify the immediate blocking of access under consideration of mutual interests. Mad Otter is to inform the User of the reason for the blocking. The same applies in the event of any abusive use of a credit card, use of incorrect credit card information and the indication of incorrect data in the event of participating in the direct debit procedure. The blocking of access includes Mad Otter immediately removing from the database and from the websites all contents and information that originate from the blocked User.
14.5 If the access is blocked, Mad Otter shall reimburse (proportionately) the User for the use fees that were already paid. Upon a justified blocking of access, Mad Otter may charge a processing fee of USD $15. The User is free to prove that losses did not arise or were substantially lower.
14.6 There is no right to the restoration of the deleted information.
14.7 Users are obligated to keep strictly confidential and not disclose to any third party the access data (login data, passwords, etc.) received for the access to the Game, unless Mad Otter has previously consented in writing to the assignment of the Account. Users may not under any circumstances use the Account, the registration name, nor the password of another User without authorization. If a third party uses an Account after he received the access data because the User did not sufficiently secure this against external access, the User must allow himself or herself to be treated as if he or she himself or herself had acted in such a way.
14.8 Users are obligated to immediately inform Mad Otter as soon as they gain knowledge of the fact that any unauthorized third party is aware of their access data. Mad Otter points out that, for security reasons, passwords should be changed regularly.
14.9 In the event of a justified suspicion that access data has become known to an unauthorized party, for security reasons, Mad Otter is entitled, but is not obligated, to independently change the access data at its sole discretion without previous notification and/or block the use of the Account. Mad Otter shall inform the entitled User of this, and upon request shall communicate the new access data within a reasonable period. The User does not have a right to have the original access data restored.
14.10 Mad Otter secures its systems against virus attacks. Nevertheless, a virus attack can never be completely ruled out. In addition, it may occur that unauthorized third party e-mails are sent using the name of Mad Otter without the consent of Mad Otter, which contain (for example) viruses or so-called “spyware” or link to Web contents that contain viruses or spyware. Mad Otter has no influence on this. As such, Users should examine for viruses all received e-mails that are sent under the name of Mad Otter. This also applies to e-mails of other Users.
14.11 Mad Otter is not responsible for damages or data losses that may arise on the devices of Users from the installation of software that did not originate from Mad Otter.
14.12 Occasionally, Mad Otter may need to communicate with Users via email. Therefore, each User must ensure that he or she is able to be reached by e-mails that are sent by Mad Otter to the e-mail address indicated by the User upon registration or subsequently communicated to Mad Otter. Among other things, he or she shall provide for corresponding adjustments to spam filters and regularly check this e-mail address. In all other respects, Mad Otter reserves the right to select another form of correspondence.
§ 15 Changes to the Agreement
15.1 Mad Otter reserves the right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to change, amend, modify, add to, or delete any of the terms in this Agreement at any time.
15.2 For purposes of explanation and not limitation, any change, amendment, or modification to the Agreement will typically be announced through publication by e-mail or on the website of the Game or within the Game.
15.3 If any future changes to this Agreement are unacceptable to the User or cause the User to no longer be in compliance with this Agreement, the User must immediately stop using the Game, and should remove the Game Client from his or her device. The User’s continued use of the Game following any revision to this Agreement constitutes the User’s complete and irrevocable acceptance of any and all such changes.
§ 16 Concluding provisions
16.1 If a party delays, waives or refrains from the enforcement of its rights within the framework of this Agreement, or grants grace periods to the other party, this does not impair the existence of the particular right.
16.2 Severability. If any individual provision of this Agreement is or becomes ineffective, unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision will be deemed severable from this Agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any of the remaining provisions.
16.3 Indemnification. The User agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Mad Otter, its licensors, and its affiliates from and against any claim, liability, injury, damage, loss, or expense (including attorney’s fees) incurred as a result of, arising from, or relating to your use of the Game.
§ 17 Governing Law
17.1 This Agreement shall be governed by and construed under the laws of the United States of America and the law of the State of Oregon, without regard to choice of law principles. The application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded.
17.2 Those who choose to access the Game from locations outside of the United States do so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws if and to the extent local laws are applicable. Should a court of competent jurisdiction determine that other laws apply, this Agreement shall be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by the laws of the applicable jurisdiction and be interpreted to give maximum effect to the terms and conditions hereof.
THE USER HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE OR SHE HAS READ AND UNDERSTOOD THIS AGREEMENT AND AGREES THAT HIS OR HER USE OF THE GAME IS AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HIS OR HER AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT.
Mad Otter Games, Inc.