EA hit with class action lawsuit over Ultimate Team packs

Andrew Highton
Various EA characters surrounding the EA logo

EA have been hit with a class-action lawsuit in Canada that claims games like NHL 21 and Madden 21 are operating an “illegal” gambling system – which is yet another domino to fall in the movement against their popular Ultimate Team game mode.

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In recent years, it’s become more and more apparent that loot boxes have become a focal point of EA SPORTS’ titles – which is only natural given the large amount of revenue they bring in. But the more attention and notoriety Ultimate Team has received across multiple games, the more it’s become a lightning rod.

This has led to several countries trying to clamp down on EA’s gambling system. Canada has become the latest name to be associated with trying to prevent EA from offering in-game packs for real money.

The lawsuit was first reported by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal in Canada.

Trent Alexander-Arnold looking to the left in FIFA 21
People are spending lots of money to land the world’s best players.

Ultimate Team using “illegal” gambling system, lawsuit says

In the article, it states both Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore brought the lawsuit forward. The lawsuit description reads: “Class action for damages for unjust enrichment arising from defendants’ operation of an illegal gambling system through the sale of so-called “loot boxes” in popular video games”. 

The two games that are being specifically targeted are NFL 21 and Madden 21, both of which include an Ultimate Team game mode similar to that of FIFA 21. Lots of other EA games have included microtransactions as well, most notably: Star Wars Battlefront, UFC 3, and others.

The game’s scientific algorithm determines what the player’s money is rewarded with in Ultimate Team, when buying packs. It could contain the game’s best player or one that will never be used, leading to more money being spent in pursuit of the game’s best cards.

Canada is merely the latest country to be involved in an EA lawsuit regarding Ultimate Team with the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, and others all joining in the fight to cease loot boxes.

Whether or not it results in a loot box ban later down the line in Canada remains to be seen.

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