SEGA sued for ‘rigging’ Key Master vending game

The New York Post is reporting a Manhattan resident has fielded a federal class-action suit against SEGA for over its Key Master vending game.

C. Stuart Brown claims the game is set to give out prizes at “pre-set intervals” and not when a player actually fits a key into the lock, like the game claims. According to SEGA Amusement’s description of the game, “Key Master will test your player’s skills as they try to unlock prizes by putting the key in “just” the right spot!”

Brown said he paid $10 to play the game and successfully inserted the key into the keyhole twice but wasn’t awarded any prizes. In his suit, Brown claimed “Consumers should be told that succeeding at the game does not guarantee winning a prize.”

A few Internet detectives tracked down the game’s manual and have discovered two key settings that prove the game is rigged. The first is called “compulsory upper deviation,” where the default setting is set to 1.6mm. One person believes this means the key will move 1.6mm higher or lower than the player set it to go. The other setting is called “payout rate,” where the default value is one prize per 700 credits. This is exactly what Brown asserts the game is doing in his lawsuit.

Either way, this should serve as a reminder that you shouldn’t trust any sort of slot, crane or vending machine. They’re all rigged, even if they tell you they aren’t. Chances are you’ll lose, even though someone will win every so often. It’s not a game of skill but chance, and chance is not on your side.

Chris Powell

Chris is the editor-in-chief at SEGA Nerds and Mega Visions Magazine. Over the years, he's written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others. Oh yeah, he's also been a diehard SEGA Nerd his entire life.

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