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EA facing Canadian class action lawsuit over loot boxes

Bullet Club

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Oct 24, 2017
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EA facing Canadian class action lawsuit over loot boxes

Two plaintiffs seeking damages as suit calls out "unlicensed, illegal gaming system" in over 60 titles

Electronic Arts is facing more legal action over its use of loot boxes and other randomised monetisation mechanics.

The latest is a class action lawsuit filed in Canada on September 30 by joint plaintiffs Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore.

According to the filing, shared by gaming and esports law blog The Patch Notes, Sutherland is a British Columbia resident who purchased loot boxes in the Madden NFL series of games while Moore hails from Ontario and spent money on the same monetisation model in EA's NHL games.

The pair assert that the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits unlawful gaming, betting, lotteries and games of chance.

Since EA does not hold a gambling license in the region, it is accused of operating "an unlicensed, illegal gaming system through their loot boxes."

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Moore, Sutherland and any other Canadian customers who purchased, directly or indirectly, loot boxes in almost every EA game that contains loot boxes.

There is a list of over 60 titles that stretches beyond the usual suspects of FIFA, Madden and other sports franchises to include Battlefield, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, Dragon Age and Plants vs Zombies games as well.

The suit even targets mobile games such as Command & Conquer: Rivals, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and WarFriends, with a note that there may be other titles containing loot boxes the plaintiffs have yet to become aware of.

"The senior officers and directors of [Electronic Arts] were at all times fully aware of the unlawful nature of their enterprise and took active steps to carry it out," the filing reads.

"In the alternative, the senior officers and directors... were reckless or willfully blind to the unlawful nature of their enterprise and took active steps to implement it."

The lawsuit is seeking, among other things, damages for Moore and Sutherland under the Competition Act and a declaration that EA has contravened the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

Earlier this year, Electronic Arts was targeted by a similar class action lawsuit in California, which claims the Ultimate Team mode in its sports games -- and the associated loot boxes -- violate the state's gambling law.

Source: Game Industry



If EA had no loot boxes
 

Plague Doctor

Member
Mar 23, 2015
2,722
3,315
705
All this fuss over surprise mechanics and conditioning a generation into gambling addictions.

This is no different than trading cards aside from the patents to monitor your gaming behaviors, fuck with match making, and then market to you a slim chance to get something you really want for a micro transaction of money. But totally like trading cards. Totally.

Okay. Okay. It's kinda not the same but look, only the wealthy players buy into it in any excessive way and they fund for the rest of us new content! No one who isn't like a billionaire ever gets hooked an spends a lot of money. Ever. Anyways fuck those rich suckers! I gets a new map!
 
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Roman Empire

Member
May 8, 2020
543
485
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All this fuss over surprise mechanics and conditioning a generation into gambling addictions.

This is no different than trading cards aside from the patents to monitor your gaming behaviors, fuck with match making, and then market to you a slim chance to get something you really want for a micro transaction of money. But totally like trading cards. Totally.

Okay. Okay. It's kinda not the same but look, only the wealthy players buy into it in any excessive way and they fund for the rest of us new content! No one who isn't like a billionaire ever gets hooked an spends a lot of money. Ever. Anyways fuck those rich suckers! I gets a new map!
Oh, now you going to say that Gacha games are Gambling too? RaCIsT!
 
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Halo is Dead

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MastaKiiLA

Member
Jun 11, 2020
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Tough case to win. I would think that the huge raft of mobile games that rely on RNG loot boxes (both free and paid) would have allowed this issue to have been settled already, and not in the gamers' favor. I wonder if those games can be used as precedent. Or, if it ends up opening a huge can of worms that essentially kills off the freemium model for good. Avatars and costumes aren't funding those games, it's good old fashioned gambling.
 
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Ravix

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Nov 26, 2019
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I can't help but wonder what new way these greedy corporations will come up with to screw the consumer once the lootbox craze is over.
 

Aion002

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Nov 21, 2019
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Fuck EA, fuck loot boxes, gachas and any other shitty mechanic that was created to exploit dumb people that spend money on this type of scam.
 
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ripeavocado

Member
Jul 26, 2020
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Good, time to ban lootboxes or regulate them like gambling.

They are actually even worse than gambling, people that buy them truly are losers.
 

losslessFlac

Member
Jun 2, 2020
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Is it gambling if you win prizes (digital goods) that aren't redeemable for money?
Why aren't TCGs considered gambling?
Obviously EA practices to entice spending are more predatory, but the only real problem I see is if they specifically target minors to spend their parents money.
 

ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
41,723
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Brazil
Let's hope for the best.

If you spend money you need to be sure of the content you will get... not a chance to get what you want.
 

Mistershine.

Banned
Jan 20, 2018
2,022
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Unpopular opinion, but I like them. I'm happy for dumb ass whales to spend their hard earned so I don't have to.
 

InDaGulag

Member
Oct 9, 2020
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The Other Place
As much as I despise gambling in all forms, I don't want to see it made illegal in video games. All I want is it to be regulated like other forms of gambling. I do not care what the industry argues. Loot boxes, crates, gacha, and card packs, are all forms of gambling in my eyes.