Electronic Arts is being sued in Canada over its use of loot boxes.
The lawsuit first appeared in Business in Vancouver’s Who’s Getting Sued article – as spotted by The Patch Notes – which show that a class action lawsuit is being brought against the publishing giant.
The Notice of Civil Claim – filed on September 30th by plaintiffs Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore – argues that EA is not only operating an unlicensed gambling business, but that the company has also been unjustly enriched in the process. They are suing EA on the behalf of anyone who has bought loot boxes in the company’s games since 2008.
Pretty much every EA franchise imaginable is named in the lawsuit, including FIFA and Madden NFL, as well as Need for Speed, Mass Effect, Battlefield and even Apex Legends.
This is just the latest bit of push back against loot boxes in video games, which gained momentum towards the end of 2017 with EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront 2. That title came under fire for its rather aggressive implementation of the business model.
Countries around the world have been investigating how to handle loot boxes. Some, like Belgium, have said that they are gambling – and therefore illegal – and has even said that publishers whose games include these mechanics should be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, in the UK a parliamentary committee recommended that loot boxes be banned in games sold to children and the country’s House of Lords – yes, a real thing – has suggested they be regulated under gambling laws. The UK government is currently investigating whether loot boxes constitute gambling.