FIFA

EA SPORTS hit with FIFA 21 scripting lawsuit for “dictating outcomes”

Published: 1/Dec/2020 2:36 Updated: 1/Dec/2020 2:39

by Isaac McIntyre

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EA SPORTS has been hit with a new United States federal lawsuit, which alleges Electronic Arts “unlawfully increases game difficulty” ⁠— dubbed ‘scripting’ by a number of FIFA 21 fans ⁠— in a deliberate effort to sell more Ultimate Team packs.

The lawsuit, Zajonc v. Electronic Arts, was brought to Californian court by three FIFA 21 gamers, Jason Zajnoc, Danyael Williams, and Pranko Lozano. In the suit, they claimed EA SPORTS uses “deceptive practices” and “false advertising” to drive sales in their FUT mode.

The lawsuit suggests EA willingly and “unlawfully” tricks FIFA players into buying Ultimate Team loot boxes by “utilizing artificial intelligence technologies that adjust game difficulty dynamically.” As mentioned, this is known as ‘scripting’ by fans.

EA SPORTS
Zajonc v. Electronic Arts alleges FIFA 21 alters matches to sell loot boxes.

The main charge laid by the plaintiffs is based around EA’s failure to alert FIFA 21 customers about ‘scripting’ features, which are having a direct impact on matches.

“Unbeknownst to most… EA utilizes technologies like ‘Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment’ and ‘Adaptive Difficulty.’ These technologies use heuristic prediction and intervention to dictate or even influence outcomes, thereby keeping gamers more engaged,” the suit, filed in November, reads.

These features, DDA and AD, are designed to adjust player stat points ⁠— both on the front of the card, and in-game ⁠— in an effort to influence the result. This can lead to bad passes, poor shots, and wildly varying pace for FIFA players.

EA are "unlawfully" tricking FIFA players into buying Ultimate Team packs, the Californian lawsuit alleges.
EA SPORTS
EA is “unlawfully” tricking players into buying FIFA points and Ultimate Team packs, the Californian lawsuit alleges.

All of this, the plaintiffs allege, is designed to do one thing: sell more FIFA 21 Ultimate Team packs, dubbed “loot boxes” in similar cases. “This [triggers] a self-perpetuating cycle,” the complaint charges, “leading them to purchase additional player packs in hopes of receiving better players and being more competitive.”

According to the plaintiffs, EA SPORTS has violated Californian consumer protection laws, has conducted false advertising and unjust enrichment through their practices.

The case, which has not yet been certified as a class action, also regards EA’s other juggernaut franchises, including Madden and NHL. The NFL and hockey titles are two more games in EA’s stables that utilize an ‘Ultimate Team’ mode.

FIFA 21 players often report shots going off target, wrong passes, and slow players as "scripting" kicks in.
EA SPORTS
FIFA 21 players often report shots going off target, wrong passes, and slow players as “scripting” kicks in.

EA has responded to the Zajonc v. Electronic Arts lawsuit. The FIFA 21 publishers wrote, “We believe the claims are baseless and misrepresent our games.”

This is far from the first time EA SPORTS has come under fire for Ultimate Team packs either. The publishers have been accused of operating an “illegal” gambling system in Canada, and are facing $11.7m worth of fines in the Netherlands and France for similar reasons.

Earlier this year, EA hit an “all-time high” in FIFA microtransactions. The company made nearly $1 billion through in-game sales alone in Sep-Dec 2019. A slice of this was then used to lure David Beckham into an exclusive £40m rights deal.

CS:GO

Army National Guard CSGO Community Nights

Published: 13/Oct/2020 18:38 Updated: 30/Dec/2020 15:00

by Calum Patterson

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The US Army National Guard ran a series of CS:GO Community Nights and tournaments throughout the last few months of 2020, with prizes up for grabs. Here’s what went down.

Army National Gaurd

 

Starting in October, the community nights offered up 30,000 points, which could be redeemed for prizes.

For the duration of the three-month-long series, players could also register their teams for bi-weekly tournaments, which were held on the National Guard’s organizer page.

National Guard Community Nights

Every player will began with 1000 points, and was awarded 10 points for a win, or deducted 10 points for a loss. The player with the most points each night walked away with 10,000 points, 2nd and 3rd get 5,000, and 4th through 7th 2,500 each.

For the bi-weekly tournaments, starting on October 18, players were ranked on their wins/losses throughout this period. The top players proceeded to the next stage of the tournament and were rewarded with Points, from a pool of 30,000.

Missions

To make things interesting though, Missions were in-play for all matches, as a way to earn extra points. For example, actions such as getting headshots, clutches, bomb defuses, nade kills and more were rewarded.

Players were set a mission challenge, for example, get 3 clutches, and succeeding will earn points. Mor information on how missions work can be found here.