19 August 2020 04:45
FIFA publisher EA has been hit with a class action lawsuit in California, with plaintiff Kevin Ramirez, on the behalf of more than 100 others, claiming that the loot boxes used in the publisher's popular Ultimate Team platform are a form of gambling and are breaking the state's gambling laws. Courtesy of information obtained by VGC, the plaintiff is seeking a jury trial and $5million in total damages, arguing that Ultimate Team packs (which essentially work how all loot boxes do, offering unseen rewards for either in-game or real-life currency,) "are predatory and designed to entice gamers to gamble." Advertisement The lawsuit comes after years of pushback against loot boxes in video games, with government bodies from the US to Belgium, the UK and China all looking into the role the mechanic has in encouraging problem gambling in players. Ultimate Team is a lucrative platform for EA, bringing in nearly $1.5 billion in the past year alone. There have been loopholes before to escape classing loot boxes as gambling in many states and countries, but the increased pressure will no doubt result in this case, should it be taken further, becoming a hot topic in the gaming industry and beyond.