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EA's FIFA Hit With Multiple Lawsuits Claiming Ultimate Team Is Gambling

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EA's FIFA Hit With Multiple Lawsuits Claiming Ultimate Team Is Gambling

EA once again finds itself at odds with European governments over its approach to loot box mechanics, as it faces two separate lawsuits filed in France. Both allege that the company's hugely popular FIFA series contains a mode that is, in essence, unregulated gambling.

As French newspaper L'Équipe reported (via GFFN), two lawyers from Paris have filed lawsuits that take aim at FIFA's Ultimate Team mode. If you're not aware, Ultimate Team is a mode that's been part of the football franchise in some form since FIFA 09. In it, players are able to build their dream teams, by spending either real-world or in-game currency on card packs which produce randomly generated players.

Both suits suggest that because players are able to spend real money on packs, and that the contents of the packs are unknown until opened, the mode effectively constitutes a form of gambling.

FIFA 20 / Credit: EA
FIFA 20 / Credit: EA
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In 2018, loot boxes were outlawed in Belgium for similar reasons after the Belgium Gaming Commission ruled that they were "in violation of gambling legislation". Victor Zagury, one of the lawyers behind the recent suits, made reference to Belgium's outlawing as an example.

"In this game, everyone wants to have a dream team to go as far as possible," Zaguary explained (as translated by GFFN). "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."

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"The more you pay, the more you have the possibility of getting big players," he continued. "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 or a 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."

FIFA 19 / Credit: EA
FIFA 19 / Credit: EA
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Zagury's client, a man named Mamadou, told L'Équipe that he'd spent €600 on Ultimate Team packs since the release of FIFA 20 last year. He claims the "best" player he's received so far is Napoli's Kostas Manolas. The football fans on my team assure me that's really not worth the money.

"I didn't even know him," Manadou said. "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."

"You quickly become addicted to this game," he added. "Whenever I buy a pack, I tell myself that this is the last time, but I always do it again. You get so frustrated when you don't get good enough players that you buy again and again."

Featured Image Credit: EA

Topics: EA

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