A lot of strange instances take place in the gaming industry every day. Some times these instances get dragged to court, and this year was a glaring example of that. We all witnessed the great showdown between Epic Games and Apple Inc. just a couple of months ago. That ‘epic’ battle is still being actively fought in the law benches of California. Electronic Arts has now landed itself in a class action lawsuit in Canada.
This particular lawsuit alleges that EA Games is profiting off illegal gambling in their games. This allegation is directed towards the selling of randomized ‘loot boxes’.
The suit can be found in Business in Vancouver’s court filing register, “Who’s Getting Sued”.
Electronic Arts Inc. and Electronic Arts (Canada) Inc.
Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore
Class action for damages for unjust enrichment arising from defendants’ operation of an illegal gambling system through the sale of so-called ‘loot boxes’ in popular video games.”
This is not the first time EA Games has landed in trouble with gambling allegations. Back in August, a class action was filed against EA that claimed that the FIFA Ultimate Team is simply illegal gambling.
A VGC report on the issue quoted the case as it is.
“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.”
The Canadian lawsuit was filed back on September 30, and yet there has hardly been any coverage until the mention on Business in Vancouver was discovered. Furthermore, this is a class action lawsuit and therefore has no bearing on the government. Nonetheless, a success for the plaintiffs may put pressure on the authorities to revisit the legislation.
Almost every popular EA Games which sells loot boxes is in the list. The listing covers any purchase of loot boxes in the mentioned games since 2008.
The games are listed in the lawsuit include Madden, FIFA, NHL, NBA Live (RIP), Mass Effect, Need for Speed, Plants vs Zombies, Battlefield series, and Apex Legends. Canada’s criminal code currently does not have any laws against loot boxes.
There is no conclusive statement that can assure which side the court will favor in the long run.
Watch this space for more news on the issue.