A state that you won’t catch yours truly dead in is actively filing a class-action lawsuit against EA for FIFA and Madden. The two games contain elements that violate the gambling laws of California, which can be attributed to the two games housing the Ultimate Team mode.
It’s no secret that EA loves microtransactions (MTX) and live-service type games. As we know, they happen to be very profitable and lucrative, but at times the company has made headlines for all the wrong reasons due to blunt decisions — as seen in early builds of Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
Well, it looks like EA is making news once more, and this time, it involves the U.S. District Court of Northern California. According to website videogameschronicle.com, California’s definition of gambling sits below:
“A machine, aperture, or device; something of value is given to play; and the player may receive something of value by element of chance.
None of these elements can be in dispute. A gamer uses his console, computer, smartphone or tablet with the EA sports franchise game on it (#1); the gamer pays real-world currency for the opportunity to open an Ultimate Team Pack (#2); and the Ultimate Team Pack is a randomized chance to win something valuable in-game.”
With that laid out, EA’s Ultimate Team packs — as found in FIFA and Madden games — happens to fall under California’s gambling law as per plaintiff Kevin Ramirez. The plaintiff is demanding a jury trial and damages of $5 million.
Moreover, on August 13th, the case was brought by Ramirez on behalf of more than 100 other proposed cases. Additionally, Ramirez claims he has been “induced to spend money to purchase Ultimate Team packs” and estimates he has spent “$600 in FIFA and Madden since 2011.”
Lastly, Ramirez issued out the following notice regarding EA and its games boasting loot-boxes:
“[EA] relies on creating addictive behaviors in consumers to generate huge revenues, and the Ultimate Team Packs are predatory and designed to entice gamers to gamble.
EA’s Ultimate Team Packs are Loot Boxes. Buying the Packs are nothing more than a gambling bet purchased using real money. The Ultimate Team Packs are simply wagers on completely randomized chances within the game to win valuable professional players and other items for the EA gamer’s virtual sports team.”
With that said, what do you think of all of this?