New Lawsuits Say EA's FIFA Is Basically Gambling

Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne (L) and Kostas Manolas (R) (Photo: Gabriele Maltinti, Getty)

EA’s long-running conflict with European governments over its loot box mechanics look set to continue, with two separate lawsuits filed in France accusing the company’s flagship FIFA series of containing a game mode that’s essentially unregulated gambling.

As L’Équipe report (via GFFN), two lawyers from Paris are filing on behalf of players who claim that the only way to “win” at the game’s Ultimate Team mode is to spend real money on packs of players that are generated randomly.

One of the lawyers, Victor Zagury, cites Belgium’s outlawing of loot box gambling as an example (translation provided by GFFN).

In this game, everyone wants to have a dream team to go as far as possible. My client spent €600 in five months without ever getting a big player. The developers of this game mode have created an illusionary and particularly addictive system. The more you pay, the more you have the possibility of getting big players. We believe that a gambling game has been integrated into this video game because buying packs is nothing more than a bet. It is the logic of a casino that has entered their homes. Today, an 11 or 12-year-old teenager can, without any restriction, play FUT and commit money because there is no parental control system in this mode. Belgium and the Netherlands have already taken up this issue.

That client, a man named Mamadou, also spoke with L’Équipe, telling the respected sports paper that he had spent €600 since the game’s release on Ultimate Team packs, with the best player he received being Napoli’s Kostas Manolas. “I didn’t even know him! Put so much money in just to get Manolas… People I know have put in €2,000 or €3,000 it’s crazy… The amount I have spent has made me fall behind on my rent payments.”


Comments

    I hope this succeeds, and I hope it sets a precedent that is easily templated such that the lawsuit can be rapidly and cheaply applied to every trash fucking mobile game ever and utterly annihilate that segment of the industry. The mobile game marketplace needs to be nuked from orbit, and this would be a wonderfully-satisfying way to see it happen.

    Purge the deceivers. Purge them with fire.

      I fear this has already created a generation of problem gamblers..

        "Hello Farmer, what do you do for society?"
        "I produce food and textiles! People use my products to live!"

        "Hello Teacher, what do you do for society?"
        "I educate the young and old so that we may all benefit from the experiences of those who came before!"

        "Hello Shopkeeper, what do you do for society?"
        "I collect all the goods that people need into one place, saving everyone time!"

        "Hello 99% of mobile game developers, what do you do for society?"
        "I use psychological manipulation to leech resources from the vulnerable! I'm a vile parasite and the world would be better without me!"

    EA makes $1 billion US dollars per quarter on "live services" they will be defending this maliciously and draw it out as quietly as they can to bankrupt the clients/lawyers.

    I hope the French justice system is fair and prohibitive of corporate war chests being used to squash legitimate cases.

    "The amount I have spent has made me fall behind on my rent payments.”

    Ummm, isn't it one's personal responsibility to not spend so much money that they can't pay their rent?

    It's not like anyone's forcing them to buy DLC for their video game.

      No. Gambling addiction is a widely recognised form of severe mental illness.

      Further, it's well established that games involving loot boxes use a wide range of psychological tricks to both prey on the vulnerable and to disguise the amount of money you are spending.

      The human brain is not some free-wheeling fantasy of infinite personal choice and responsibility. There are literally thousands of unconscious cognitive biases and chemical reactions in the human brain that are well understood by psychologists and easily manipulated to entice people to keep putting money into a slot without being fully and consciously aware of the implications.

      Your opinion on radical personal responsibility lets pretty much every company and scam artist off the hook just so long as there's no actual physical coercion involved in their manipulations. That's not society, that's anarchy.

      "why are you depressed? Why dont you just stop being unhappy?"

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