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21 Oct 2020

EA Sued over loot boxes – Lawsuit in Canada over loot boxes in EA game

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The Lawsuit

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How can they be sued?

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Current Situation

In a situation similar to an existing case in California, EA are being sued over their implementation of loot boxes.

As with most cases like this one, the plaintiff is arguing that loot boxes are effectively illegal gambling.

The case in California focuses on FIFA Ultimate team, whereas this new one will focus on NHL and NFL games.

Let’s take a look at what this means for EA.

The Lawsuit

The Canadian lawsuit was spotted in a Vancouver column, with The Patch Notes quick to upload full details of the suit.

Two individuals have started the case. One who claims to have purchased loot boxes from Madden NFL and the other from a number of NHL games.

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GAME IN QUESTION: One plaintiff has bought loot boxes on numerous NFL titles

However, given the suit is a class action suit, it is on behalf of every individual who has bought a loot box from EA since 2008.

Given the size of the proposed lawsuit now, this could mean a significant payout for EA should they lose it.

How can they be sued?

Quite simply, the plaintiffs are arguing that the loot boxes themselves are illegal gambling.

Citing a number of sections from Canada’s Criminal Code, the suit is similar in many ways to others around the world, even as close as California.

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PRICE TO PAY: People have been spending thousands on Ultimate Team coins

The lawsuit also makes use of a number of precedents, other situations in which bans or restrictions have been placed on loot boxes.

These include Japan and South Korea’s increased regulation, recent Dutch and Belgian laws as well as other inquiries across the UK and US.

Current Situation

We have only just discovered the suit, so it will likely be a long time before any outcome is reached.

However, Canada has not made any progress in investigating the issue, and they don't currently have any laws in place for loot boxes.