Loot Box Lawsuit Filed Against EA Over Games Like Battlefield And FIFA
With digital gaming seeing constant changes and additions to monetization structures in games, perhaps none had grown in prominence and frequency of appearance in gaming this past generation as the loot box. The microtransaction became ubiquitous with online games like Overwatch, but the randomized nature of the purchases led many governing bodies to believe that they should be considered gambling. The government of Belgium was one such governing body to legally declare this, as did the UK National Health Service mental health services director. Now, it looks like Canada is following suit, literally, with a new loot box lawsuit issued against EA.
Esports legal blog The Patch Notes recently reported on the loot box lawsuit being filed by Canadians towards EA. Canadian residents Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore filed the lawsuit on September 30th with the British Columbia Supreme Court, with the intent to give it class-action status. The pair are seeking damages on behalf of any Canadian that purchased loot boxes from an EA game, claiming that loot boxes constitute an illegal gambling system. The Patch Notes gives this information regarding the lawsuit’s basis for its case:
The plaintiffs are also alleging the way in which EA has implemented loot boxes, including not publishing the odds of winning prizes, and making using them semi-necessary for progression, breached various consumer protection statutes, including the BC Consumer Protection Act.”
The Patch Notes also mention that the lawsuit is quite legitimate, as it is being handled by a fairly prestigious law firm’s legal team, and provides a list of EA games that qualify for the loot box lawsuit. These include every FIFA, Madden, and NHL EA game since 2008, as well as several Mass Effect, Plants Vs. Zombies and Battlefield titles as well. The Patch Notes points out that Star Wars Battlefront was not on the list, likely due to the alleged last-minute removal of loot boxes from Battlefront II.
EA’s response to the suit has not yet been made known, but if the lawsuit rules against them, they could be forced to pay as much as millions in damages to Canadian citizens. Class action lawsuits can take a long time to settle or complete, but if The Patch Notes is right, EA might not be getting the rare holiday skins they would hope to get from the loot box that is the Canadian legal system.
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Cory Lara1720 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.