A lawsuit has been brought against EA Games in Canada, with the plaintiffs essentially arguing that the games giant is profiting off an illegal gambling business by selling randomized loot boxes for cash.
This is actually very similar to a suit filed against EA in California back in August, which alleged that FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode is essentially gambling.
The Canadian suit was first spotted in a Vancouver “who’s getting sued” column by The Patch Notes, a game industry-focused law blog. The Patch Notes has found and uploaded the full Notice of Civil Claim, which contains the full details on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is being brought against EA by two individuals who describe themselves as customers of EA. One is described to have purchased loot boxes for EA’s Madden NFL games, while the other bought loot boxes for various NHL games. The term class action lawsuit, loosely means this action is being brought up on behalf of everyone who purchased loot boxes in any of EA’s games since 2008.
Canada currently has no laws around loot boxes, and has not yet taken steps to look into the issue. Other countries around the world have weighed in on the link between loot boxes and gambling in the past. This including countries like the Netherlands and Belgium taking steps to regulate loot boxes and others, such as New Zealand and France concluding that loot boxes do not constitute gambling.