French lawyers have hit EA with a lawsuit saying that the FIFA Ultimate Team Game (FUT) mode is a form of gambling. In FUT, players can either complete a long list of objectives and challenges or just spend real money to get players from packs for their teams.
First introduced in 2009, FUT has gone on to become the most popular game mode in FIFA, as well as becoming a huge source of revenue. The game mode has also created an industry of players who stream countless hours of gaming, as well as tutorials on how to play.
Two Parisian lawyers, Karim Morand-Lahouazi and Victor Zagury are arguing that the game mode forces players to pay to win, with no guarantees on the returns on a particular card. Zagury says, “My client spent €600 in five months without getting a big player. The developers of this game mode have created an illusionary and particularly addictive system.”
Their client, Mamadou told L’Equipe that since the release of FIFA 20 in September, he’s spent €600 on FUT packs and the best player he got was Kostas Manolas from Napoli. According to him, the game is addictive and even when he tells himself its the last time, he can’t resist spending more. He goes on to say,” I didn’t even know him! Put so much money to get Manolas…People I know have put in €2000 or €3000, it’s crazy.”
His lawyers say they are hoping to shed light on the risks taken by players of FUT. They argue that in order to win players take a gamble and spend money on card packs that could include any of the game’s players. Zugury explains,” We believe that a gambling game has been integrated into this video game because buying packs is nothing more than a bet. It is the logic of a casino that has entered their homes. Today, an 11 or 12-year-old teenager can, without any restriction, play FUT and commit money because there is no parental control system in this mode. Belgium and the Netherlands have already taken up this issue.”
Loot boxes have become common many games in recent years with some players liking them and others hating them. The lawyers are hoping to get access to EA’s algorithms to how exactly they are generated. Time will tell whether their case will succeed or not.